Creativity - Your Way?

14 replies
Much has been said about copywriting creativity.

Our pal Max swears it's the key to sustained super success - you can read his thoughts on the "Share One Secret..." thread.

We know being "creative" is not about gimmicks - senselessly, aimlessly and desperately trying to impress the audience.

So how do we do real "creativeness" - to get spellbinding results.

Helps to discover what "Creative" actually means -

Creative = ingenious, innovative, inventive, original, visionary, inspirational, imaginativeness

All good and well - but how do you do it.


Sometimes you have a glorious epiphany - and kerbang - off you go - melting the keyboard as the sparks ignite.


Usually it takes a bit longer.


For me -

I dissect the product/service (and the main competitors) and place each piece under the microscope and do a forensic examination.

Often as not - glimmers of potential "creativeness" suddenly shine through.

I eliminate the "fools gold" and concentrate on the 24k top notch stuff (bit like panning).

Scoop this up and I'm off to the refinery - aka the trusted Olivetti - to bash it all into shape.

Interestingly - if there's not enough creative gold - and I realise what should be there - I talk to the client and we arrange a transplant.

Enough about my technique.


What do you do to find Creativeness?

Don't worry about sharing your "patented" process.

All you're doing is giving out your recipe.

To help others cook up their own unique gourmet of creative wonder words.


Steve


P.S.

And now the "respond now" close... (always good to aim this at the ego - usually our most coveted, treasured and expensive possession).

If you don't participate and reply...

Well...

Some may think you might lack a "creative" knack - and being the ace copywriter that you are - you wouldn't want that would you?
#creativity
Avatar of Unregistered
  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    tacked on to the end of evening prayers...

    And Lord God, please, PLEASE don't let any Warrior think that I lack creativity. I just couldn't bear that burden, it is just too much to ask of me. Amen.


    Having found the great masses live in a fog of uncertainty, wandering aimlessly through their days, that one of the most creative things I can do is: use both a fog horn and a search light to illuminate their path.

    Often time, the most creative thing I do is to shine my light on common sense, and because it seems to be lacking in many areas, a little Reason Why goes a long way.

    It doesn't take all that much to be a tad bit more creative than the next guy.

    There is one "recipe" other cooks can use.

    GordonJ

    PS I dissect the PROSPECT'S mind first, then the product.


    Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

    Much has been said about copywriting creativity.

    Our pal Max swears it's the key to sustained super success - you can read his thoughts on the "Share One Secret..." thread.

    We know being "creative" is not about gimmicks - senselessly, aimlessly and desperately trying to impress the audience.

    So how do we do real "creativeness" - to get spellbinding results.

    Helps to discover what "Creative" actually means -

    Creative = ingenious, innovative, inventive, original, visionary, inspirational, imaginativeness

    All good and well - but how do you do it.


    Sometimes you have a glorious epiphany - and kerbang - off you go - melting the keyboard as the sparks ignite.


    Usually it takes a bit longer.


    For me -

    I dissect the product/service (and the main competitors) and place each piece under the microscope and do a forensic examination.

    Often as not - glimmers of potential "creativeness" suddenly shine through.

    I eliminate the "fools gold" and concentrate on the 24k top notch stuff (bit like panning).

    Scoop this up and I'm off to the refinery - aka the trusted Olivetti - to bash it all into shape.

    Interestingly - if there's not enough creative gold - and I realise what should be there - I talk to the client and we arrange a transplant.

    Enough about my technique.


    What do you do to find Creativeness?

    Don't worry about sharing your "patented" process.

    All you're doing is giving out your recipe.

    To help others cook up their own unique gourmet of creative wonder words.


    Steve


    P.S.

    And now the "respond now" close... (always good to aim this at the ego - usually our most coveted, treasured and expensive possession).

    If you don't participate and reply...

    Well...

    Some may think you might lack a "creative" knack - and being the ace copywriter that you are - you wouldn't want that would you?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11643607].message }}
  • I'm not really a copywriter, I'm a salesman. But I write my own copy.

    But to me, creativity isn't the goal. Clarity is the goal. If what I do looks creative, that's fine. But people don't buy because you are creative.

    How do I create a presentation (or parts of one) that increases the likelihood that they will buy?

    I figure out what the buyer really wants...deep down...this usually consists of some buried desire. For example, not "savings" but more like "approval from peers' or "The desire to fit in the group", or "The envy of my friends"

    Then.....I do this, always...

    I make a list of every feature of an offer (usually mine). I break it down as small as I can go.

    Then each feature gets as many benefits, that fit the customer's inner needs, And then I make a list of how they benefit from buying from me, instead of anyone else. Then a list of benefits (that apply to them, always) of buying now, rather than later.

    I check off any benefits that, by themselves, would make the purchase worthwhile (again, from the buyer's point of view)

    The results may look creative, but they really just involve grinding thought and several hours of writing and organizing.

    If I don't know the most important need of the prospect (meaning the group of prospects) I just read a successful sales letter to the group, and it will tell me what appeals work.

    Anyway I know talking about features and benefits is old stuff, but it's the way I think.


    added later; After this process, I may have a solid dozen benefits that are each strong enough alone to justify the sale, and a hundred to two hundred benefits that will apply to most people that may buy.

    When selling, one of the most important keys (Don't know how to do this in writing copy for mass distribution) is to not ever mention benefits or features that aren't exactly matching the customer in front of me. That makes the offer a perfect fit for them (in their eyes).

    Often, when selling, this involves a different presentation to each customer, even with the exact same offer.
    Signature
    One Call Closing book https://www.amazon.com/One-Call-Clos...=1527788418&sr

    "When you look at someone through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags" Bojack Horseman
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11643611].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Teright03
    In writing, most confuse creativity with being artistic with words. But actually, being creative is being able to generate new ideas.
    The person who knows old elements is more likely to come up with a new idea than a person who knows fewer old elements.
    The person who knows how to combine old elements is more likely to come up with a new idea than a person who doesn't know how to combine old elements.
    In short, researching - reading about your target audience - is key.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11643626].message }}
  • A quick shortcut (that I forgot to mention)...

    Ask the product/service a few open ended questions (it may not reply - but you can).


    What, Where, Why, When, Who, How


    Often the answers give you a blast of "creativeness" - which may well appeal to the good people you want to sell to.


    Steve
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11643655].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    Sometimes the "creativity" is just sayin you'll give the basics
    you'd expect others would give, but don't.

    Like I did in my lawncare biz.

    "I will Turn Up On Time, Do What I say I Will Do,
    Clean Up After Me...If Not, I Will
    Pay You $1,000".

    That only came about by being immersed in the market,
    hearing the complaints on the other end
    of the phone and addressing the problem
    head on right on the headline in the
    newspaper ad.

    To me that's creative mixed with guts.

    Seems rare today.

    Best,
    Ewen
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11643657].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    Clarity is the goal. If what I do looks creative, that's fine.
    This is exactly what I teach in my copywriting courses. If you have a choice between clarity and creativity, you should always choose clarity. Creativity is a bonus.

    However...

    But people don't buy because you are creative.
    I disagree a little with this. If you are creative and clear, the creativity can help you capture attention that you would not otherwise have. And sometimes the creativity creates such a strong appeal to the imagination that it wins the sale.

    A good example: Ann Handley wrote about a little experiment she performed when she couldn't even give away two poop-colored couches. She conjured up a highly creative pitch for them and they were sold for $95 in no time. Her case study is worth a read:

    https://annhandley.com/power-of-copywriting/

    Marcia Yudkin
    Signature
    Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11643746].message }}
    • Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

      This is exactly what I teach in my copywriting courses. If you have a choice between clarity and creativity, you should always choose clarity. Creativity is a bonus.

      However...

      I disagree a little with this. If you are creative and clear, the creativity can help you capture attention that you would not otherwise have. And sometimes the creativity creates such a strong appeal to the imagination that it wins the sale.

      A good example: Ann Handley wrote about a little experiment she performed when she couldn't even give away two poop-colored couches. She conjured up a highly creative pitch for them and they were sold for $95 in no time. Her case study is worth a read:

      https://annhandley.com/power-of-copywriting/

      Marcia Yudkin
      PUMPKIN SPICE COUCHES x2: Two upholstered gently used loveseats in a rich caramel hue. Deep, comfortable seating. Generous arm with sturdy back pillow supports. Perfect for binging Netflix or cozying up with your bestie on a chilly autumn night. From a smoke-free, pet-free seasonal cottage. Sad to see these go! $95 for the pair. These won't last!

      You're right, that's fantastic copy. And it is creative, meaning the writer has an ability to create a picture, full of sensation. A study in how to write sales copy.

      I love "your bestie". It reads as though it applies to them whether they they are straight, gay, married, single, or have a pet. The whole ad is a masterpiece of language used to create sensation.
      Signature
      One Call Closing book https://www.amazon.com/One-Call-Clos...=1527788418&sr

      "When you look at someone through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags" Bojack Horseman
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11643773].message }}
  • What are fairy lights without a tree?

    Jus' a whole buncha flash can't stand up on their own.

    Vinery. Finery. Decor.

    Always I would wanna figure copy in terms of meaningful dialog, resonant in the moment, fulla promise for next steps forward in the potentially hunny-drenched maelstrom.

    First step is the necessaire.

    You got that, then you can finesse with flair.

    Plus also, start point for the necessaire is sumthin' actschwlly worth writin' about or promotin'.

    So ... Steve ... Claude ... Gordon ... how much you wanna write out the glories of the zero-cellulite 3-prong bamboo noodle fork holder attachment?

    Always there gotta be intrinsic tangible advantage, an' from here you can flourish out into desirable metaphor.

    Gotta watch always for transformative touchpoints.

    An' I would naht wanna suffer no reflex WF ban by summonin' no meandatory wandah 'round the FLUXSCAPE.

    Like the breath you got when you floppin' out cutesy on the yogah mat ... all ins & outs commune in a pulse around the transformational tweensyflux.

    Anywan pinpoints this kinda breath of life stuff prolly got a product or service gonna play out OK.

    An' for copywritah persons, you gotta figure DEAR DIARY.

    How enthoosiastically do I wanna write this out?

    Or do I gotta scrape the barrel to make up stuff makes it sound even moderately tolerable?

    Substance & finesse.

    Emptiness & dreams.

    Meaningful narratives uniting distant touchpoints.


    We meet up thusly with alla our things, an' whenevah we feel good about it, seems we gaht wings.
    Signature

    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff togethah.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11643814].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    On one occasion I got "creative" to dramatize the cost
    of jet lag.

    I got called in by friend who was the sales guy
    at a London ad agency.

    Their creative team couldn't come up with anything
    my friend's client would accept.

    He had overnight to present an acceptable ad or the contract
    would be torn up.

    It was for a jet lag pill.

    So, using my ATM framework
    to come up with a winning ad for jet lag pills
    I got to work.

    I wanted to dramatize the cost of getting jet lag
    to a dealmaking frequent flyer.

    Grabbed an image of this business guy sprawled out
    at an empty airport terminal with a lone cleaner in the background.

    The message was he missed his flight and that caused him missing
    out on a big deal.

    It wouldn't happen if he used the same jetlag pills used by airline pilots.

    Client loved it, my friend got to keep the trailing commissions..

    I had fun making the ad using my ATM framework.

    Best,
    Ewen
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11643825].message }}
    • Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

      On one occasion I got "creative" to dramatize the cost
      of jet lag.

      Best,
      Ewen
      That's real neat, Ewan.

      But I jus' gotta ask ... what was keepin' the lone cleanah gowin'?

      MOP GAS
      sniff as you clean
      for vigor real mean

      As a mortal public servant, you'll know how hard it is to maintain a whole airport on your lonesome.

      Especially when slacker jetsetters throw faux tantrums, as if to mock you!

      So how do you maintain the will to live in this unforgiving void?

      Hell, how do you even swoosh a mop without seeing it as a potentially limb-slicing weapon?

      The secret is vigor-enhancing, mood-stabilizing
      MOP GAS.

      Every swish of the mop against the airport floor releases invigorating gases so friendly to your nostrils you'll simply sniff 'em on up.

      When you're done, you'll feel like a powerhouse of cleaning firepower, ready to wipe the floor with any departure lounge sucked of life.

      JFK? Charles De Gaulle? Heathrow?

      Yes -- now you can take on any airport.


      Solo!

      Signature

      Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff togethah.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11644074].message }}
  • Shhh....

    Don't tell the Princess, but I might have worked out how to make the "Mop Gas."

    Just bung a few drops of lemon grass in the bucket.


    Steve


    P.S. I once did a Phenomenal Postcard campaign for a cleaning company. One of the many benefits was " As a bonus for using us - just ask - if you want your home to be extra specially super fresh after we've vacuumed - we'll use harm free, non allergenic, organic essential oils - pick your favourite"

    Lemon grass was the winner.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11644089].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Thank you Steve...

    when I talk about being creative, I'm not referring to blind squirrels swinging across alligator-infested rivers while drinking a Budweiser and smoking a Marlboro.

    I'm referring to a person's ability to see beyond the ordinary and achieve the extraordinary.

    Products can sit in a lonely warehouse in Phoenix...because nobody cares about them...a creative copywriter can come along and repurpose the campaign or rephrase the idea behind the product and they start flying off the shelves to the point where the products become a viral sensation.

    A company can be struggling to grow and a creative copywriter can come along and turn the business into a booming powerhouse.

    Being creative is being able to see beyond what others see.

    Sure, it's ok to just use clarity...it's what most small businesses do on a daily basis whenever they feel the urge to waste their advertising budget.

    Bob's Shoes
    Been in business since 1431
    Great Customer Service
    Buy some shoes at 3% off till next whenever

    A smart copywriter with some creativity would take the above nonsense...even though it's as clear as anyone can make it...and turn it into something that grabs customers by their eyeballs and drags them in to spend until they end up selling all their family heirlooms to buy more shoes.

    It's really simple. Ask yourself what makes one copywriter in high demand...and 1,638,439,021 others still trying to figure out how to get customers.

    Creativity is what makes or breaks copywriters.

    Interesting subject you brought up
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11644187].message }}
    • Originally Posted by max5ty View Post


      repurpose the campaign or rephrase the idea behind the product .
      That's it. That's the creativity. Creating gold out of lead. When I read stories of how a mundane offer was repurposed and a completely new appeal was created....that's the most complex kind of thinking.

      Beyond me.
      Signature
      One Call Closing book https://www.amazon.com/One-Call-Clos...=1527788418&sr

      "When you look at someone through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags" Bojack Horseman
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11644192].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    The idea of taking an idea from one industry
    and applying to another where it's not used.

    I stole the reverse penalty idea from a book of Jay Abraham case studies.

    It was a pest control co specializing in food manufacturing plants.

    They went in saying if the plant got shut down by health inspectors
    due to vermin after their treatment
    they would pay for the cost of the plant closure.

    I moved it over to lawncare.

    I gave a successful plumbers Yellow Pages ad
    to a marketer to use for his
    electrician client

    He used it on Craigslist which turned into a new $30k per month
    new revenue stream.

    I gave a proven to perform home remodeler flyer
    used in Auckland. to the dad of a Florida builder.

    He adapted it to Adwords, invested under $50 and
    then shut it down.

    His son got $150k worth of work and was scrambling to service his clients.

    The ad I wrote which become the most ripped off ad on the Internet
    for web design, I adapted it from a Texas furniture removal co
    that became the dominating force in it's local market.

    Call it creative what I did...I don't.

    Just street smarts.

    Best,
    Ewen

    Added later.
    The baseline was I knew the numbers on the performance
    which gave me confidence to have the ads used in a
    different country, different media
    and different year.

    It becomes riskier if you don't understand the underlying trigger that got the reader
    to respond in the first place and secondly do those same circumstances apply today.

    I will go for a new message that is also evergreen, meaning that it
    will continue to work for years to come so long as competitors
    haven't adopted a similar message.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11644198].message }}
Avatar of Unregistered

Trending Topics