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10 Articles Aimed Squarely At Advertising Creatives

Advice for copywriters, art directors, designers and web developers.


Beer and sketches
Image courtesy of Michael Karshis

Whether you're brand new to the advertising industry, a veteran, or maybe still in college, there is always an opportunity to learn more, and improve yourself. If you're looking to learn a little something, improve your thinking, arm yourself with ad knowledge, or just want to see how other creatives think, the following articles are for you.

Fail Harder

FAIL and HARDER. Two words that, when placed together, create an idea much bigger than themselves. These two words are emblazoned on a wall at Wieden & Kennedy's main office - an image made entirely of thumbtacks; over 100,000 of them to be more accurate. Of course, it would have been easier to create those words with the thumbtacks, and leave the space around them blank.

10 Exercises To Get The Wheels Turning (Again)

If you find yourself in a creative rut right now, either because you're working on a job that bores you silly, or you have started scraping the barrel for a client, then it's time to step away and reevaluate. What you need to do is sharpen your mind, with exercises to jog your mind better than any energy drink.

How To Write a Direct Mail Letter

In direct response advertising, a great direct mail pack can work wonders for both the brand, and the bottom line. Truly successful direct mail is targeted, says something powerfully (and memorably) and talks directly to the customer. And there's no better way to engage in conversation than with a letter.

Words For CopywritersWords For Copywriters

If you're a seasoned copywriter with 20+ years of writing experience behind you, you'll have a list of go-to words and phrases that help you craft good copy. In fact, you start building this library after just a few months on the job, and it becomes something that grows with you as you grow as a writer.

Don't Forget Why You Got Into Advertising

In meeting rooms across the country, and the world (perhaps even the galaxy, it's highly unlikely we're alone), there are advertising "experts" sitting around huge conference tables, tossing out tired old clichés at each other. Are we becoming a bunch of empty suits and hipsters finding more and more ways to justify our salaries? And if so, what can we do about it?

What Advertising Creatives Can Learn From Columbo

One of the greatest television detectives of our time is Lt. Columbo, played magnificently, and understatedly, by the late great Peter Falk. Although a product of the seventies, with a slight revival in later years, Columbo remains beloved and relevant to this day. And there's a reason for that. It's not just that he's imminently watchable, he's also smart and methodical. Qualities that anyone in the creative department of an advertising agency should take to heart.

The 10 Most Powerful Words in Advertising

Advertising has changed a lot of the decades, but certain words are as powerful today as they were so many years ago. In fact, the psychology department at Yale University studied many words in the English language and discovered the following to be the most powerful, especially when trying to sell or persuade. Here then are the 10 words you should always consider using in your campaigns; and if you've been paying close attention, you'll realize three of them are actually in the headline and subhead of this article. Oh, and there are a few words missing from this list that may surprise you. We'll get to that at the end.

Don't Say It, Prove It.

When people first get into advertising, especially on the creative side, they find it easier to simply come out and say what they think the product or service is all about. Being direct, it seems, is the best way to get to the consumer. Tell them the product is great, they'll get the message and the job is done. Well, that's not the case.

FIVE Big Mistakes To Avoid In An Ad Agency Interview

You will interview at many different advertising agencies throughout your career. It's unavoidable. Agencies fold, they merge, they lose clients, and they downsize. You may also get bored, frustrated, move out of state or just want a change of scenery. So, when the time comes to interview, you need to be completely buttoned up. That means preparing well for the interview; and knowing what NOT to say is just as important as knowing what to tell the interviewer. Here are five major landmines you need to sidestep. Some apply to all types of roles, a few are specifically for people in the creative department.

Another 5 Creative Exercises

In a previous post you were presented with 10 challenges to aid creative thinking. Now, it's time to up the ante, with some problems that delve a little deeper, take a little more of your time, and perhaps a little more creativity. You obviously don't have to do them all, but when you have a lull between projects and need something to keep your mind on its toes, these exercises a great place to start.

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