Looking Up, I Noticed I Was Late

A day in your life can help break a case of writer’s block
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Woke up, got out of bed
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup
And looking up, I noticed I was late


As Lennon and McCartney show us, a day in your life provides almost endless opportunities for commercial ideas.

Describe all the activities in an ordinary day and you’ll find stories that can be adapted to advertisements for many advertisers. Here are some of the activities in a typical day of a mythological person in Anytown, USA:

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Stuck for ideas for your commercial copy? Any single slice of the day could be the basis for a spot. iStockphoto/Christopher Futcher Alarm goes off. You get up and talk to yourself, or listen to the thoughts in your head: “List of things to do today — visit advertiser …”

Do you sing in the shower? “Sing (briefly) about anticipating today’s adventure, augmented by the benefits of the advertiser’s services.”

Prepare breakfast. We overhear kitchen conversations: “Family discussion, kid’s demands, spouse’s remarks about a problem that can be solved by the advertiser.”

Get kids ready for school: “Kid’s complaints, excitement, teasing siblings — poking fun at problems or even the advertiser.”

Check voice mail: “Messages from friends, co-workers, teachers, boss, clients, relatives who talk about problems or advertiser solutions.”

Check e-mails: “Talk to yourself as you read through them, listen to part of a podcast talking about the advertiser.”

Listen to radio: “We overhear a news story, traffic or weather report, commercial, talk or sports show that ties in with the advertiser.”

Watch TV: “We overhear snippets of various programs while clicking through channels.”

On the school bus: “Driver as spokesperson, reacting with kids as conversation participants or background sounds.”

Car pool: “Driver and passenger discussion about news, days events, traffic, family — all opportunities for promoting advertiser benefits.”

Drive to work alone: “Talk to yourself on the way? Interactive conversation with the radio.”

Interact with other drivers: “Cut me off if you want, but I’m goin’ to happy hour at the Dew Drop Inn when I get off work!”

Greet fellow employees: “A variety of moods are possible here.”

Hear a telephone recording: “We are experiencing temporary work stoppage since all our customer representatives are at the annual clearance sale at_________. Please call back during non-sale hours.”

Lunch break: “Discussion about where to go, who wants what, food costs, time, preferences, convenience, diets, etc.”

Phone calls: “To and from clients, to and from family. Planning activities — advertiser involvement.”

Water cooler conversations: “Talk about work, after work activities, family — more opportunities for advertiser discussions.”

End of day — riding elevator with co-workers: “Jokes, work-related stories, complaints, successes.”

Dinner: “Preparing a home cooked meal, heating up leftovers, micro waving frozen entrees, ordering out, jumping in the car to head to a restaurant — each are opportunities to talk about an advertiser.”

Social night out: “club, movie, coffee with friends, bar, seminar, reunion, surprise party — endless possibilities for stories to promote advertisers.”

Helping kid with homework: “Discussions about future applications of knowledge, your own education, school, careers, persistence, values — applications for many types of advertisers.”

Drifting off to sleep: “Reviewing the day’s events, planning for the next day, intimate spousal conversations about finances, love, health, kids, retirement, etc.”

Try this exercise too with an atypical day — a watershed event, a vacation, first day at school or a new job, or an adventure of any kind — and you’ll add even more scenarios.

Any single slice of the day could be the basis for a spot … or combine ’em. Now you have more opportunities to laugh in the face of writer’s block.

Finding ways to break writer’s block is all in a day’s work at Hedquist Productions. What’s your day like? EmailJeffrey@hedquist.com. He’d like to know.

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