Copywriting tip #91: Can you say it a different way?

One of the maxims of marketing is repetition.  Maybe that's why most ad copy sounds the same.  Everyone seems to take the same spin on the product or service…and end up sounding a bit "me too" when all is said and done.

Take the idea of encouraging seat belt usage.  For years we've seen the test dummies slammed into dashboards and front windows.  We've had traffic fatality statistics scroll by and we've been shown mournful family members express their loss.

Nothing wrong with any of it…it's just been done to death.  Which is why this commercial is so powerful.  Watch it and then I'll tell you the back story.  (e-mail subscribers…click here to view)

Pretty impactful — wasn't it?  An independent director in the UK, Daniel Cox, got the idea for this spot and went to the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and proposed his idea.  They let him shoot the spot and because of its completely different approach — it has become a worldwide sensation…and very effective in delivering the seat belt message.

Not only has the YouTube video been viewed over 9 million times, but the spot has always garnered significant news coverage, including this story on CNN.

So…. how do we create the same impactful, fresh kind of copy writing/concepting?  We ask different questions and we view the "problem" from different points of view.

Try some of these on for size:

  1. Put the message in the middle of the "table" and walk around it.  Identify different people who would have a perspective on it.  What might they say?  (Listen carefully to their choice of words)
  2. What would the problem (product, service) say if it could talk?
  3. If you had to play charades…how would you act out the problem (product/service)

Being creative and fresh isn't a fluke.  It's hard work.  Perhaps because it's so difficult — it's rare.  Which is why we are so enamored when it happens!

Share the Embrace Life spot with those you love… what better way to ask them to buckle up?

Hat tip to my Dad for sharing the spot with me!

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