Posts Tagged ‘Promax’

writing tips for the criminally inclined

May 2, 2013

Great writing takes guts and danger and an edge of crazy. Not for the faint of heart. If you want to plunge into that world, here’s what you need to know.

1.     WRITE DRUNK

Hemingway said, “Write drunk. Edit sober.” Martinis aside, he meant don’t hold back in your first draft. Dump every insane, half-baked, inspired, stupid idea onto the page. Later you can carve it up with the exacto knife.

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 2.     STEAL

In his book, “Steal like an Artist,”  Austin Kleon claims that no original ideas exist. So seek inspiration everywhere: from that pop song, to the Chagall exhibit, to that trailer that blew you away. Don’t be afraid if something’s been done before. Steal, then transform.

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 3.     PUNCH

Forget soft, wimpy words. Seek out action verbs. Make your sentences brief and direct. Use short words—they get into the brain faster. If your sentence starts with “there is” or ‘it is” then, pal, your punch lacks power.

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 4.     FAKE YOUR IDENTITY

Engage in identity theft. Try on other personalities in your writing. Personality inspires word choice, cadence, and can transform something dull into entertainment. Just ask Randall, the guy who turned a film on Honey Badgers into 59 million YouTube hits (and counting)!

  5.     MURDER

Once you’ve spilled your guts onto the page, go in for the kill. Axe those extra words. Strike out adjectives. Murder those ideas that you love, but don’t fit the goals this time. Kill your darlings. Only the strong survive.

What are some of your favorite writing tips?

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Bare your assets

July 6, 2011
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The room was buzzing at our Promax session in New York.
Were we in the buff? Nah.
We were stripping spots down to their bare essentials:
Message, Ideas, and Words.
The pictures were just a tease.
Click the bra to see what we showed.
Give it time to load. Chock full of fun spots!

Write with 3 Balls

June 28, 2010

This year the Promax/BDA conference in LA brought in great speakers from around the world and smashed last year’s attendance numbers. We felt honored to be included.

We had a blast presenting “Write with 3 Balls” to the audience of marketing executives, and they returned the feeling. Loved seeing that SRO crowd. As promised, here’s what we showed. Enjoy and please let us know what you think!

[The presentation is packed with good stuff and videos–please give it a few moments to load up.]

Promax Presentation

Add New Post ‹ sharpen your tools — WordPress, posted with vodpod

aim true

May 31, 2010

Promax Boot Camp preview


Every award-winning spot shares one thing in common.

You’re probably thinking big budget, but not so fast. What’s the one single thing award-winning-wows-around-the-water-cooler spots have?

They have a single message. One point. One idea.

As Grandpa Button used to say, “You can’t hit two targets with one arrow.” It only looks easy. Nailing that single message takes plenty of practice so let’s give it a go.

Here’s a kick-ass spot. You tell us the single message. We’ll bet four to one you get the answer.

What is the main message?

A. OMG, there really IS a water shortage!

B. All my voice-overs should have a French accent.

C. Axe=Sex

Think you’ve got the hang of it–good. Next, how do you decide what that single message should be? That, my friend, is for Boot Camp.

At ease.

writing bootcamp

May 26, 2010

This June we’re packing up our gear and heading to bootcamp in the tony jungles of LA.

Promax/BDA, the organization of TV promotion execs, invited us to put TV novices and honchos through some basic writing drills. Because, frankly, promo writing has gotten listless and lazy. Time to lose the love handles around the verbiage.

Ready for a bootcamp preview? Check here over the next few weeks. You’ll find out how to:

-Kick your spots into award-winning territory

-Pack muscle onto your prose

-Settle the showdown between pictures and words

-Tell a competent story, soldier.

And if you’ve got a spot that you think would be prime example of any of these topics, we’re paying attention and we love showing you off.

At ease.

the real work of brands

November 14, 2009

KliegLightReversed

Tomorrow I lead 25 TV executives through an all-day brand workshop in Dubai  at the DMI studios.

We’ve never met, but already I know this: they’re managers, directors, art directors, and producers. They’re young, creative, opinionated, curious, and ambitious.They’ll be shy at first, and open up as the day goes on. We will laugh and disagree, we may have misunderstandings.

By the end of the day, they will amaze me.

We spend a lot of time preparing our workshops:  pulling examples, creating exercises, and laying out the concepts that make brands work.

But the miracle always happens in the team work. When the language of the day isn’t job titles or meetings. It’s ideas. When people jump in and try things out. When they don’t fear failure.

What will amaze me tomorrow? I can’t wait to find out.

What’s your best workshop experience?

uncorking ideas

October 15, 2009

It’s spring in Johannesburg and if that’s not enough to put a smile on my face, new friends and fantastic wine does.

Preparing another session of Write With Balls, this time for Promax/BDA Africa and I turn on the TV. What’s on in the southern hemisphere? Plenty of channels and a familiar line-up; Discovery, Nat Geo, Cartoon, and CNN. But I watch for the ads.

So, how does Coke talk to its customers? With music of course. There’s a detergent for doing laundry in a bucket vs a washing machine.

Plus ads for a very special kind of bra. Well, not exactly a bra — something you wear over a bra. These print ads show you what you need to know.

push_up_bra

push_up_store

More from Jo-burg in a day or two. In the meantime do you ever turn the TV on when you travel, if so what do you like? I once saw a game show in Italy that was over the top. You?

SouthAfrica

mini miracles

September 2, 2009

image1

Discard beverage. Take off shoes. Slide computer through xray. Purchase identical beverage a moment later. Board plane. Squeeze computer bag and body into seat. Endure not-so-solitary confinement for hours marked by B movies, salty snacks, and a shortage of fresh air.

By the time custom forms make the rounds and the landing gear has settled, you are under a spell, some metaphysical abracadabra. Poof, a new world is outside the terminal doors: Singapore, Mumbai or Kuala Lumpur.

image_bollywood

So many fresh ideas on the other side of the puddle: a different way to deliver lunch, a solution to collecting trash, or package milk. Sometimes dull becomes delightful.

Consider the mind-blowing technique of Keith Loutit, an Australian film maker.

Loutit shoots real life and turns it into miniature. TV1 in Australia was sharp enough to hire him for their image campaign. Magic.

apply attitude

July 1, 2009

Attitude can have an amazing effect on your voice, tone, and manner.

So take your personality (see “begin with personality”) and strike the right ‘tude.

 

Picture 3

Here’s more fun from our popular Promax/BDA session . . .Picture 10

Sister networks, TNT and TBS, know how. Like most sisters they share things; sweaters, boyfriends and movies. But one is all laughs, the other a drama queen.

Recently, both aired “Titanic.” Remember– Big maritime disaster? Leo DiCaprio dies slow icy death?

Here’s how TNT (We Know Drama) promoted it:

 

and here’s how TBS (Very Funny) handled the same movie.

Like two different movies, right?

Attitude frees you up to romp in your creative playground. But like cosmetic surgery, you can go too far, and your audience might not even recognize you. 

Not sure what we mean? Here’s another “surprise endings” for you. Can you guess which network this spot is for?

Really, who needs Viagra.

Ever see an identical product or program promoted differently? Sure you have – let us know what you’ve seen and what you like. We love attitude and are always searching for brilliant examples.


surprise endings 2 – revealed

June 18, 2009

Picture 10We’re fresh back from the Promax/BDA conference. Thanks to everyone who came to our session. You rocked!

For fun, on this blog, we had posted the spot below –but stopped it before the ending. People had to guess who it was for. And we loved the answers! Now, here’s the complete spot.

How close did you get?