Wall of shame.

It’s not just having ideas. It’s making sense of what you have. Here’s a simple, analog way. You need a wall, a pad of paper, a big marker and sticky notes. You don’t need a laptop.

Using sketch paper, tape each of your theme lines or concept statements horizontally across the wall. Then, beneath each, post your executions. You can tape scripts to the wall, or just notes, or anything that fleshes out each different direction. This “wall of shame” becomes a diagram, an organizational chart. It will help you build momentum because it physically shows what you have in the bank. That gives you confidence.

It also lets you rearrange bits. It lets you compare. And it helps you see, and trash, your worst ideas.

Eventually, everybody discovers this simple method. If you haven’t, you’re welcome.


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.