Good advertising starts with a good idea. But copy makes the sale. So, what to do when you’re in a rut and on a deadline? Try out these exercises to get the creative juices flowing again.
- Swipe File
See something online or in an email that you think is cool? Screenshot it and pull it into a designated swipe file on your desktop. Look through it when you need some motivation. Inspiration can come from anywhere and what you find may become useful in a project six months down the road.
- Let’s Try This Again
We’ve all been driving down a highway and noticed a particularly bad billboard. Put your copywriting skills to use by rewriting it in your head, or talking it out with the people in the car with you. This works with magazine ads, app descriptions, banner ads – anything. Figure out what the problem is and then try it again.
- Say It Shorter
Shakespeare told us brevity is the soul of wit – it’s also the heart of a strong ad. Write a description for a fake client then cut it down as much as you can without losing the message. In other words, say it shorter. For example: Centerville Bank and Trust (fictional client)
- Short: Providing the Centerville community with mortgage loans, retirement funds, checking and savings accounts, home equity loans, credit cards, and wealth management solutions that meet their banking needs.
- Shorter: The bank Centerville residents choose to achieve their financial goals.
- Shortest: Your wealth, maximized.
- Talk About The ‘Why’
In sales, people don’t usually care what the product does. They care what it can do for them. That’s hard for internal staff (the people creating the product) to wrap their minds around. So, it’s up to you as a copywriter to think about the end game. Take techspeak and turn it into something your customer cares about.
- Feature: A new rake with two customizable ergonomic grips.
- Benefit: Raking leaves is sweaty, thankless work. But you’ll never get a callous on your hand again when you use our new Comfort Grip Rake!
- Feature: Radiation center at a hospital just installed an intraoperative electron radiation therapy machine.
- Benefit: No chemo. No radiation. Receive one treatment and start recovering from your early stage breast cancer.
- Get Inspired
Go looking for success stories to help you think differently about a project you’re stuck on. This is one we’ve come across recently: These flyers took an entrepreneur from $0 to $13,202 per month
- Copy Good Copy (By Hand)
Some writers say handwriting good copy helps you learn what it feels like to write good copy. So, then you can turn around and write some good copy of your own. If you’re so inclined, here’s some famous ads to get your started.
We all have days when our minds turn to mush and there are no good ideas to be found. Try a couple of these exercises to get your brain back in shape.