Archives for the month of: April, 2013

Volkswagen is one heck of a successful company. They have V-Dub clubs all across the world. That’s actually surprising if you think about it: VWs are everywhere on the road. They are a common car that has a loyal fan base. Usually car clubs are reserved for rare cars like Porsche or old muscle cars. Not everyday vehicles.

So how did it all start? Well yes with the Nazi’s, but let’s focus on when it came to America. The challenge posed to DDB with VW was that this is a German car with WW2 still fresh in the minds of their audience.

The ads merge both strategy and creativity into the core benefits of buying a VW Beetle: durability and affordability. Before ads were more like sales pitches that got old quick and gave no one a reason to listen, unless of course they were actually in the market to buy. What amazes me is that this concept is still new to most companies. People don’t buy into things easily: you have to pay them in entertainment. By paying them in entertainment you can address what ever it is you want to say. I could easily list several examples here in every medium, but I’d rather not put that on my blog. Instead I’ll show what I mean with a great example.

If all advertising was like this then people would pay attention to it more. Saying that people actively avoid advertising is a lie. YouTube is loaded with ads that get thousands of views. The Superbowl is a great example of people (who don’t care for the game) wanting to watch commercials. Creative advertising grounded in strategy works. That fact is shown both in award shows around the world and in sales.

The most important thing is that above having a good strategy, creative idea and the entertainment factor all rolled up into one ad, it has to relate to the target. This is why I love copywriting. That puzzle that must be solved for each an every ad. Of all commercials here is my favorite.


Writing is a process. Duh, I figured I’d point out the most obvious thing first. But bear with me.

Ideas don’t come to you. They are made, like people. When two ideas love each other very very much they decide that they would like another idea to come into this world. So they make a new idea. And that my fellow reader is how ideas are made. They are combinations of ideas merged together in different ways (like cooking for example) to create ‘unique’ things.

But that word ‘unique’ is a curious word. Also its cousin ‘originality’ is worse. Both words (according to the dictionary on my computer) mean “the first of its kind”. That obviously flies in the face of my definition of ideas. So I’ll defend: ideas cannot exist as something unique or original, they have to have precedent. If an idea was to truly exist on its own as something unique, then no one would understand it because we need the precedent knowledge to understand it, and create it for that matter (hope that makes sense).

So, no idea can exist by itself. It needs to come from somewhere, and have other ideas preceding it. Consider a laptop for example. It is a keyboard merged with a computer and then merged with a TV screen. It could have never existed without the previous inventions existing before it.

I bring this up because ideas don’t come to you. They are created. Also if you are trying to create something orignal or unique that “no one has ever seen before” good luck, but I doubt it’ll happen. Don’t think that I’m claiming to set the bar low, instead think of it as being realistic, literally.

How to create comes from being a mad (mental) scientist. Instead of chemicals you have ideas, merge them shape them differently and take them into unfamiliar places. That will make them seemingly ‘unique’.

As far as how you write, or how to learn how to write. No one can teach you that. You have to learn what works for you. Some work better writing in public areas, some in private places. Some (like me) work better talking to other people to spark the imagination, others like to read or be by themselves. There is no wrong way, the right way for you is your own way. So when ever someone gives you advice on how to write best, I’d say listen and be polite you may learn something, but if it won’t work for your process then it won’t work.


The book cleverly titled The Copy Book published by D&AD is a great resource. It has an extensive list of copywriters who have their work profiled and talk about their writing processes. The book itself is large in size, and inspirational for any writer. By reading all about the writer’s process then viewing their work, it gives you an interesting insight into how they do what they do.

As a young writer I’ve found that by reading and studying the approaches and processes of writers (copy or otherwise) I have a better understanding on how to deal with and approach new challenges. Seeing as how every new project is different; your process in many ways won’t be consistent throughout. Being able to adapt your writing as needed to each new project and each medium in my opinion is key for any writer.

This is a parent company map of the biggest parent companies in the world. There are however a few missing, like SC Johnson. Not to be confused with Johnson & Johnson, who did make their way on the map.

Probably the biggest surprise is Dr. Pepper.Who, according to the map is owned by Kraft. But if I want to buy a bottle of this tasty beverage (here in Canada) I would have to go to a Pepsi machine. Oddly enough if I was to visit Europe it would be bottled by Coca-Cola, according to the source of all knowledge: wikipedia.


“Push the envelope.” I love that phrase. Because there really is no edge, somewhere sometime someone has already pushed it. And of course in the ad world it is impossible to keep on top of every campaign, even just the good ones. That in itself would have to be a full-time job. A very easy and awesome full-time job, and if there is one out there I would like to apply for it. My qualifications summary would be that I how to actually use a search engine and I like flipping through award annuals.

But I’m off topic now.

Back on topic: the edge of the coveted envelope. Reminds me of a sci-fi Indiana Jones flick, where he gets teleported to a weird postal service themed 2-dimensional universe where he has to find the edge of the envelope for some weird plot driven reason that probably has to do with the meaning of life. When he does find this ‘edge’ he gets a new perspective of life. Deep.

Back on topic: the point of this post is to express that the edge of the envelope is different for some than others. For example, for me my sense of humour may go “too far” for some, but be too conserved for others, but just right for me (cue Goldilocks metaphor). Now if you have another person who’s 2D enveloped-shaped humour universe is the same as yours, you may find yourself saying “Wow, I really like his sense of humour!” And now you have a friend, congratulations. And If you explore your target’s 2D envelope shaped universe of humour and express it via an ad, that is copywriting. Link all those senses of humour together and they will feel a part of a community, and they will want to share how much they love that community, via social media of course, hashtag #something.

And that is the beauty of advertising working at its best. And why I enjoy it so.

Now here is a cool ad for your enjoyment expressing what I just ment but on a mass scale.

Antivirus ad

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