How to write theme lines.

Think about your theme. Then, write lines that reflect it in different, shorter ways, double-spaced on a page. When the page is full, delete all the lines you hate. Pick the best line from that batch and start over. Write another page, then delete the lines you hate. Only keep the lines you don’t hate. Pick the best one and start the process again. Over and over again. Go where the words lead you.

Eventually, you’ll have a half dozen lines that might be okay.

Now, you have a set of possibilities to present to the client. Ask the clients to delete the ones they hate.

The one left alive is the winner.  Until legal nixes it.

Then you start all over again.


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.