Get a Room, You Guys

“Good writing is clear thinking made visible.” Bill Wheeler

Campaigns come in all shapes and sizes, but the successful ones have an attribute in common: a strong idea, communicated simply. Writers help come up with the ideas and bring them to life, so we sat down with Copy Chief Colleen Masters to hear how it’s done. Colleen gave us her perspective on staying fresh, remaining on budget and the immeasurable benefits of working within an integrated agency to create campaigns that drive results.

When helping brands push out a new product by way of TV or digital video, where do you start?

CM: If the product is new to everyone, we have to define both it and it’s benefit for the customer. It’s all about education. If the product is only new to our client, that can be more challenging because it’s all about the wrapper. How exactly does our client make that product even better? That’s where insights are crucial. People think we come up with ideas out of thin air. The truth is, if they aren’t rooted in research—we don’t have a leg to stand on.

What challenges does your team face and how are you able to overcome them?

CM: Weather is #1. A little rain can be a big headache for a shoot. Mother Nature aside, lately we’re facing shorter timelines and tighter budgets. A tight process can ensure everyone is aligned and everything is buttoned up along the way. No surprises. If challenges do arise, the only option is to find a way to make it work. Very Tim Gunn of us. When it comes to the idea—I always feel like the best ideas can often be the most simple.

How does BG’s copy team stay fresh, both for yourselves and for your clients?

CM: Our copy team just moved into the “Writer’s Room.” Your favorite TV shows work that way for a reason. The open plan lets us play off each other’s strengths and push each other out of our comfort zones. Our job is to reinvent ourselves with every project, kind of like actors.

How do strategy, creative, and the increasing emphasis on data-driven decision-making come together to drive positive results for our clients?

CM: It’s almost impossible to think creatively and analytically simultaneously. Our ideas are born out of research and insights which we get from Strategy. As the creative team, we take those findings and make something as informed as it is inventive. What good is something that says all the right things, if no one wants to listen?

Finally, where do you find inspiration? Are there any tools, books, or ideas you recommend?

CM: A good Old Fashioned. Of course we look at Cannes Lions, Communication Arts winners, etc., but if we’ve seen them, they’ve already been done. So we look other places – whether it’s an art exhibit, city or world events, or just a conversation with friends – we’re inspired by our experiences and world around us.