The copy number cruncher Linda Button speaking at ProMaxBDA


A great idea can be the seed of something spectacular, but how do you refine
and nurture a concept so that it receives the adoration it deserves? Linda
Button, copy connoisseur and Brand Personality Expert at Tooth+Nail, sums it up
in artistic arithmetic.


This is the number of original ideas left in the world, and Button believes that
inspiration can be snatched from what has already worked.

“Steal smart. Only take the best ideas that really speak to you. Pull apart and
dissect what makes them good – you want to learn how to get it right,’ said
Button, who referenced how a common concept like Men Behaving Badly has
been re-invented and worked into so many ad campaigns and narratives.

10 000

A scientist named K. Anders Ericsson wondered what made a person an expert
and discovered that the secret was practice and that it would take 10 000 hours’
worth for someone to call themselves a pro. Button maintains that once you
allow yourself to blunder through an idea, you can start to get inventive, break
the rules and then apply precision and fine-tuning.

Said Button: “An expert is a person who makes more mistakes than anyone
else. We don’t see the hours of mistakes, all we see is their greatness. A group
of people who show a trail of mistakes are artists.’

Button referenced the evolution of original sketches for the Star Wars character,
Jabba the Hutt which went through many transformations before reaching the
gruesome slug like creature that appeared in Return of the Jedi.

“Be willing to try things out, experiment, explore… you may find something
original. Charlie Kaufman, the filmmaker who wrote Eternal Sunshine of the
Spotless Mind says he writes five pages to get two great lines,’ she added.


“Next time you’re stuck, just set the timer for 10 minutes and you’ll have 50
ideas in no time,’ said Button, who recommends having a brainstorm session
wherein you write down as many crazy ideas as you can, within 10 minutes.
With no restraints, you are able to free yourself from your inner critic and allow
free flowing creativity to decorate the page.


“24 ideas. Seven scripts. When your boss requests concepts for a promo, he will
want a lot of ideas, variety and flavours,’ remarked Button, who referenced an
array of Axe commercials from different countries. She points out how each
commercial made use of a unique hook and delivery, though they all promote the
same product and target the same consumer.


“Using the zero, 10 000, 10 and 24/7 methods can lead to greatness, but
number one represents you and your uniqueness.

“Demand more of yourself, do more idea generating and more work. Steal more,
explore more, and don’t accept setbacks,’ Button concluded.


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