There’s always more ink in your pen.

I once had a couple portfolio students who did a really cool campaign. The visuals were great. The tagline tied everything up perfectly. They could have kept it there. But they wanted to push it. So they tried writing headlines for each ad. And the lines they wrote were good and funny and well-crafted.
They printed out the campaign with and without the headlines. And we all sat down to take a look. And we ultimately decided the ad was better without the headlines. But just barely. It seemed such a shame to cut such scintillating copy from their campaign.
But what an awesome position to be in. It wasn’t a huge surprise when these ads were featured on Adcritic’s homepage before the team had even left portfolio school.
What did they lose? Some great lines? Sure. But even golden copy isn’t gold. You’ve got more ink in your pen. More ideas in your brain. You’re not wasting nonrenewable resources.

3 thoughts on “There’s always more ink in your pen.

  1. I would even say that they didn't lose anything if the ads were better without the lines. But you never know if you don't try.

    This relates back to an earlier post of yours, Greg, about theoretical ads. A common student question is, “Would this be better with a headline?” I don't know. Why don't you write some good headlines, put them on the ad, then we can compare and decide.

    You can't make a decision unless you have options, and the easiest way to compare your options is to actually compare your options.


  2. Hi,

    my name's Cim. I'm from Stockholm, Sweden and was studying at Berghs before coming to the Academy of Art in San Francisco. I'm halfway through my bachelor in advertising.

    I found this website a couple of weeks ago and I've read every single post by now. Everything you write has substance, I could only wish my classes had the same high standard.

    I really just wanted to say thank you for being such a positive influence. It's greatly appreciated.


  3. Thanks for the comments, Cim. Sometimes it feels like Greg and I were in your shoes not too long ago and know how daunting it can seem. We both owe a lot to our instructors in school and our mentors in the industry and are happy to pass along the wee bit of wisdom we've picked up over the years. Glad you find the advice helpful.


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