When you need to come up with a concept for a project, sometimes it’s easy and sometimes…well, your creativity could use a refill. But where do you refill it? Today’s article is all about sources for topping off your font of creativity that might now be what you’d expect. Read on…
Today’s question comes from Angela M., who asks, “Sometimes I get so exhausted from working on the same clients and the same projects that I’m just at a loss when I need to come up with something new. Do you have any techniques for helping me keep my brain fresh?”
When most copywriters think about finding inspiration for their work, they think about reading other ads. And sure, reading other ads to appreciate and learn from others’ work can be great. But sometimes reading more ads can just give you even more copywriting fatigue.
So instead, here’s a list of five places to find copywriting inspiration that you’d probably never think of.
Children’s books. Writing geared toward children takes big concepts and simplifies them into easy-to-digest messages. And guess what? Sometimes that’s exactly what you have to do as a copywriter. Just because you’re selling a gizmo that’s precisely what your target audience needs doesn’t mean you can skip ahead to just saying “buy this!” You need to break down your message to make it simple to understand and digest.
Stand up comedy. The crux of most great stand-up comedy routines is that they expose all of the silly little things that we do or experience in our lives and make us realize exactly how absurd they are. And, generally, that makes us laugh. Well, that same exposing of the absurdities and idiosyncrasies can also serve as inspiration to help you convey them in your ads. Even if you’re not writing funny copy, it’s still likely that it will be useful to convey the absurdities, frustrations and problems that your client’s product or service solves.
Cosmopolitan covers. Yes, that Cosmo. Hands down, there is no magazine out there that is better at crafting benefits that hit right at the heart of what their target audience wants and needs. “Look Leaner Naked” “117 New Style Ideas Already in Your Wardrobe” “The Fierce New Secret to Success” If you’re looking for a different way to hit your target audience’s desires or pain points with your benefit to consumer, hit up Cosmo magazine.
Back cover copy. This is the copy you find on the back of paperback novels. The back cover copy I’m referring to most specifically is the copy on the back of thrillers and romance novels. The goal of this copy is to convey some of the story to get a bookstore browser interested but withhold just enough to make them want to purchase. There is no copy quite so good at piquing interest as back cover copy. If you need to whet your target audience’s appetite and get them wanting more, head over to your local bookshop.
Popular songs. One of the big reason you can’t get the Top 40 hits out of your head is that the songwriters have mastered the use of cadence and rhyme to create a natural catchiness. The human mind craves a predictable cadence in things it reads and hears, and copy is no different. Even if you’re not working with rhyme, cadence is crucial. Anyone who cares about grammar may hate the line “Nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee,” but you can’t argue that the natural rhythm in that line makes it pleasing. Flip on the radio and sing along for a bit before you sit down and write your next copy doc to encourage your own sense of timing.
Your turn! In what unusual places or ways do you find inspiration? Let us know in the comments below!