Natalie Goldberg is a writer. And she says as a writer, you have to write every day. In her book Wild Mind, she says people who attend her writing seminars often ask, “What do you do with what you write?” Her answer is, “What do you do after you drink a glass of water?” She’s saying writing isn’t something always do to get somewhere. You do it because you’re a writer and writing’s what you do.
Van Gogh didn’t sit down and decide to paint masterpieces. Most of his work that’s hanging in museums he saw as practice. Here’s what he did when he was experimenting with what he saw outside his sanitarium window:
Sometimes we create amazing things. Sometime we create garbage. The point is to keep creating.
You can build with as much or as little as you like.
Once you have your list of 20 product benefits, start doing ads for each area. For this, do some ads about how Legos appeal to all ages. See how far you can go with that. Then do some ads about how you can add to the sets. Or how, unlike other toys, they’re still fun when you lose a couple pieces. Obviously, some benefits will be better than others. I’m not sure how many people ever bought Legos because they’re “colorful.” Still, do three ads per benefit, and suddenly you’ve got 60 ideas. Keep doing ads off every benefit until you realize which area is the most fertile. Then go do more ads in that direction.
You may not always have a brief. But you should always be working off a strategy. This is just one simple way of finding out what that might be.
By the way, don’t do ads for Legos. Too studenty.
(Much love to Coz Cotzias who showed me how to do this a decade ago.)