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 created long-running advertising campaigns for Motel 6 ("We'll leave the light on for you"), BP ("Beyond Petroleum"), Fanta ("Wanta Fanta"), Claritin ("Claritin Clear") and many others. His forty-year creative career included twenty years at Ogilvy & Mather in New York, as well as stints at Goodby, Silverstein in San Francisco, Ammirati & Puris in New York and The Richards Group in Dallas.