Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Tuesday Tip No.6 - Use Never-Seen-Before-Footage

Happy New Year!

Great to be back, isn't it?

Today is a Tuesday so, here's another 'tip for young creatives' (N.B. no liability assumed for careers ruined as a result of following these tips).

When creatives start out writing TV scripts, they often write them around stock situations.

These include:

- Man on a desert island
- Two blokes in a pub
- Two ladies in a kitchen
- A couple having dinner in a restaurant
- Man or woman walks into a shop

Avoid stock situations.

Yes, you can sometimes get a good ad if you come up with a really radical twist. For example, there was an ad for shoe polish with a man marooned on a desert island. Plane flies over. Man waves frantically for rescue, but the sun glinting off his shiny shoes blinds the pilot, causing plane to crash.

But if you start from a stock situation, you're starting at a disadvantage - you need something incredible to get over the predictable set-up.

Avoid setting ad here

It's better to start with never-before-seen footage.

No one had ever seen paint exploding out of a block of flats, rubber balls bouncing down the streets of San Francisco, or a crowd coming together in the desert to make a face.

Notice that if you start with never-seen-before images, you don't have to do that much with them. The ad can be simpler.

Plus, you have less competition in the jury-room. Whereas if you do a comedy sketch set in a pub, your ad is competing with all the other comedy sketches set in a pub there have been.

Finally, if you create your ad from elements of the brand (e.g. the paint or rubber balls representing the colours of a Bravia TV) rather than from scenarios from films, TV or other ads... then the ad will be more relevant. So more likely to get bought by the client too.

That's always helpful.

Tip No.5
Tip No.4
Tip No.3
Tip No.2
Tip No.1


Anonymous said...

Brilliant tip. I'm new to these, but will look at the rest too. I used to see an awful lot of books, every day. And if I'd had a penny for every desert island, I'd have been a rich lady.

I think it's quite like other non-advertising writing though. And perhaps even thinking. We learn models and patterns and start thinking according to their rules before we know it. They become a starting place by default. The aim to start differently is a great one.

lazbash said...

Thanks for all your great tips Scamp.
Quick question. How long will it take for creatives/agencies to get moving again, now that it's 07? i.e when would it be ok to start badgering people?

Scamp said...

Badger early, badger often.

That's the general principle.

Maybe i'll write a more detailed tip about approaching agencies next

Anonymous said...

Right I read the rest and they are equally great. Every young team should see these. Have you thought of writing a book/some kind of guide in its own right? I'm going to tell all my old headhuntery people about them.

Anonymous said...

An excellent series. How would the rules differ for press/poster advertising?

Scamp said...

beeker, you are most kind. Yes, feel free to tell your old headhuntery friends about my little tips. Especially if they know any publishers!

fishnchimps, you ask an excellent question. I feel the 'rules' are very similar. The key commonality is to try to free yourself from using familiar images, whether still or moving.

I wrote about the need for 'new visual information' for print ads in a previous post - http://scampblog.blogspot.com/2006/12/will-people-even-notice-your-ad.html