The magic phrase.

Everybody knows the magic word in advertising is “free.”  But the magic phrase is “what if?”  Use it to start your thinking, to set up your work when presenting, and to challenge others who need inspiration.  As an idea nucleus, “what if?” demands to be followed by a high concept.  “What if adults spoke in children’s voices?”  “What if the cars on the lot turned into Transformers?”  Filling in the blank after this phrase demands a real idea.  It makes you look for a real idea.  And, if you ask others to fill it in, this phrase defines what’s expected without you ever having to say more.


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