Focus your group.

You think advertising focus groups are a necessary evil, which you either attend at gunpoint or watch online in a comatose state.  No and no.  The truth is that those people sitting across the glass are writing ads for you and all you have to do is type them.   Just hear what they’re saying and go into trance mode and barf down whatever headlines or key words come to you based on what you hear.  It’s weird, but it works.  You’ll finish the night with a half dozen sentences and thoughts you didn’t have before, sort of like crowd sourcing.  Don’t waste time with snide remarks about the cargo shorts the fat guy is wearing.   He’s not there just to trash your ads.  He’s there to help you write the next one.


David Fowler is a writer and executive creative director in New York.
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