Good Copy Starts With a Great Concept - DD Kullman


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Good Copy Starts With a Great Concept was presented by DD Kullman at Writeshop on July 31, 2010

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Good Copy Starts With a Great Concept - DD Kullman

  1. 1. + Good Copy Starts With A Great Concept By DD Kullman Commpose Writeshop July 31, 2010
  2. 2. + Who the heck is DD and why should I listen to her?  Former ad agency senior writer, creative director and corporate marketing director  Senior Instructor in the Art Institute of Phoenix’s Advertising/Graphic Design programs  Freelance writer and Princess of Prose at Copy That Clicks
  3. 3. + Behind all great copy… Is a great idea. Even if it’s a little one.
  4. 4. + It’s the concept, dude. A Million Of These  In the world of advertising, Are Coming To the concept drives the Copper Square. direction the copy will take  That is to say, compelling copy flows right out of a There’s never been a better time to get your foot in the door at Copper Square. That’s because 400,000 square feet of space compelling concept is available for immediate occupancy – and at least another million square feet is set for development. Join the more than 600 businesses that are making Copper Square the “Next Great American Downtown.”  Writers and art directors It’s a location beyond measure. You’ll be neighbors with the expanded Phoenix Convention Center, the 1,000-room “concept” together Sheraton Phoenix, C ityscape, C enter Park East, the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus, T Gen, the Arizona Biomedical Collaborative, the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, plus thousands of new residents living in glistening This B2B ad ran in the high-rises and funky lofts. Of course, it’s all accessible by  Metro Light Rail, debuting in 2008. Phoenix Business Journal to For your Copper Square information package, contact Dan Klocke announce the wealth of at the Downtown Phoenix Partnership: 602-744-6407. Or visit available commercial office space in Downtown Phoenix
  5. 5. + Writing is a visual medium.  Compelling concepts aren’t just the domain of an art director – the writer has equal responsibility  A picture really is worth a thousand words – the right one can inspire much fodder for content  This ad is designed to sell 5- acre home sites in an exclusive, shared working ranch in Steamboat Springs, Colorado
  6. 6. + Writers can art direct!  Writers can – and should – come up with visual ideas  Art directors can – and should – come up with headline ideas  This B2B ad was developed for a company that digitizes paper medical records for electronic storage
  7. 7. + So how do you come up with a “concept?”  Preparation – Collecting input and doing your homework  Frustration – Moving from left to right brain  Incubation – Conscious or unconscious mulling  Illumination – The AHA! moment  Evaluation – Is your idea any good?  Elaboration – Working it out in art and copy
  8. 8. + General rules of engagement.  Use a creative brief  Have a clear goal or purpose for what you’re trying to achieve  Avoid idea killers  Use doodles to visualize your ideas  Make mistakes and have fun doing it  Develop your sense of humor
  9. 9. + Concepting technique #1: Word association  Make lists of words  Island…Land of the Rising Sun…Emperor…Geisha…Far East…Kimono…Red Lantern… Sake…Sushi…Tempura… Honor…Kobe Beef…etc.  Food…Plate…Flights…Grill… Presentation…Eat…Dine…etc.  Play with them to see what kinds of interesting combinations you can make
  10. 10. + Concepting Technique #2: Mind mapping  A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks or other items arranged around a central key word or idea  It is a graphical method of taking notes and generating related ideas  Mind mapping software:
  11. 11. + Concepting Technique #3: Look at photos  What words does this image bring to mind?  What emotions does this image bring to mind?  What products and services could this image be used to sell… - Life insurance? - Bicycles? - Kids clothes? - Master-planned community?
  12. 12. + Other Techniques… Visual Metaphor – Using one thing to identify another
  13. 13. + Other Techniques… Life experience – Drawing upon common experiences people can relate to. People should react: “Yep, that’s how it is!”
  14. 14. + Other Techniques… The problem is the solution – Taking what is perceived as a negative and turning it into a positive, so much that others may have to follow your lead.
  15. 15. + Other Techniques… A Darned Good Reason – Providing a rationale for a functional benefit can turn consumers into believers.
  16. 16. + Other Techniques… Comparison – Comparing a product or service to something different from it…a feeling, a sensation, another type of experience…can be a strong premise. Copy: He might look like you, but he doesn’t have to eat the same food.
  17. 17. + Other Techniques… Exaggeration – Overemphasizing a product’s quality drives home a selling point quickly.
  18. 18. + Other Techniques… Authenticity and Being First in Class – Many people value “the real thing.” People associate “the genuine article” with brands that are first in their class.
  19. 19. + How to tell if your concept is any good?  Does it achieve your goal? Stay on strategy?  Is it an appropriate solution for the brand?  Is it an appropriate execution?  Is the message clear? Concise? Did you communicate a functional or emotional benefit?  Is it interesting? Different? Compelling?
  20. 20. + Your Challenge Should you choose to accept it.
  21. 21. + Concept Practice Session  Working with a partner, apply one or more of the concepting techniques discussed to this photo  Next, develop headline concepts for a print ad promoting one of the following topics: • Swimming lessons • A family vacation • A pool builder  Choose the concept you like best and outline how the copy would flow out of it