Curbing Copywriter Burnout

by Marshall Such

If you're lucky enough to have a full time copy writer at your station who handles all client spots, chances are this person suffers the Creative Blues as much as you. Here's a tip that will make their day, inspire Addys (yeah, right!), and goes well with a robust chardonnay.

Spend an hour with your current production library and find some tracks you haven't beat to death in spots or promos -- you know, the Specialty/Novelty/Comical/Seasonal/Whimsical/Period/Big Movie/Classical stuff.

As you're listening, dub over the thirty second version to a cassette when a piece "rings a bell" of an idea. Then write down an opening line or a scenario to go with that tune.

For example, you may hear a 1920s Charleston-type track with a rhythm section, muted trumpet, piano, etc.. The thought associated with this track may be, "Back in 192(?), people in Grapevine knew there was only one place to go...."

Or maybe you run across a "cartoon track" that's begging for copy. A quick note like, "Jim does a decent Porky Pig, and Lynn can be Betty Boop with a little pitch change. Steve does Claghorn Leghorn, Ralph...Fred Flintstone(?). Cartoon characters all in same spot from different companies: "Why are we all here? To get in on the savings at...."

A "mysterious track" that you thought you'd never use may be just the ticket for a spot that starts, "As the unsuspecting townsfolk of Grapevine go about their daily lives, (embellish more with "word pictures") there's a deep dark secret lurking. It's just off Main Street, and it will send a chill through your spine. (SFX) It's Mike's Tasty Freeze."

If you can knock out a dozen or so of these ideas, present the cassette and the idea sheet to your copy writer. Chances are you'll have lip prints on the toes of your shoes. Even if the copy writer can't use the ideas today, at least they've got a reference cassette and seminal ideas when brainstorming. The tape/sheet also comes in mighty handy to get the Account Exec off their back who has been clamoring for a spec spot for weeks.

Unabashed Pitch  OH! If you haven't got any of this kind of music in your library, call Music Man Mike Fuller at Radio Potato, 1-800-GOT NUPIS. We've got all kinds of neat stuff, and it's all buy-out!

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