Monday, May 9, 2011

Boring IS Avoidable

A little more than one time every 12 seconds.  That's more than 312 times per waking hour, 5,000 times per day and about 1,825,000 times per year.  That's how often your brain is exposed to "buying messages".  Think back, how many of those can you recall from today?  From yesterday?  Exactly.  Your brain does an outstanding job of protecting you from messages you're not interested in.  Thank you brain!

Given this, we in the advertising profession must work harder than ever before at crafting concepts that will effectively interrupt people's lives and get them to act in a desired manner.  No wonder we're so stressed out!  How do I get you to do what I want you to do?  Better yet, how do I even get you to remember me?

Step 1: Learn a new language.  Have you ever used a cliche in any of your advertising?  Here's a few winners; "It's that time of the year again...", "For all your ______ needs", "Conveniently located at ______", "The friendly professionals at _______ "  I'd go on but I'm afraid I'm already boring you.  The point is, you're better than that.  Problem is, we all get busy, have tight deadlines and truth be told, a bit lazy.  Thus the cliche lives on!  Cliches are predictable and predictable is boring.  Your brain is wonderful at saving your from boring.

Why do songs get stuck in your head?  Nice melody, clever lyrics presented in interesting patterns.  Have you noticed how songwriters are the poets of today?  They present many of the same ideas you and I have had about love, life and anything else but, in new and interesting ways.  If you want to write better ads you need to learn to think like a songwriter.  If this sounds daunting it's because it is.  But, if you are willing to make some changes you can easily rise to the top 95% of your professtion.

How do you do it?  I don't know but, I can share what I do.  Every day I read a poem from a book called "Poem A Day".  I also read a Proverb and a Psalm.  You may not be a Bible reader but you can learn a lot just from the way these books are written.  I also never sit when writing an ad.  Sitting smothers creativity.  I got one of those hydraulic desks so I can stand when crafting copy.  Everything I write I read out loud.  It's amazing what a difference hearing your ad makes.  When possible, I try to get out of the office and walk around the building or take a drive in my car.  Any change to the environment tends to lead to more creative thoughts.  I invite you to try a few of these techniques and share how they work for you.  Tomorrow it's on to step deux!

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