Jealous of Men in Lycra Pants

This week marks the return of the football season. While others rejoice and begin planning their Eagles kick-off parties, I sigh with foreboding as I sadly await the return of Heath, the Fantasy Football Zombie.

No longer will I be greeted with a happy “hello” and hug when I walk through the door after work. Instead I’ll get a half-hearted wave from behind a laptop screen and if I’m lucky, maybe a grunt.

I foresee several remote power-struggles in our future as we battle over whether we watch  Monday Night Football or WEEDS. Inevitably, I’ll get jealous of his fantasy football devotion and sulk as I take back-seat to large, burly men clad in tight Lycra pants.

But alas, there is nothing I can do about it. After all, he has had a love affair with football long before he ever met me.  At least there are the ads to look forward to.

Last Superbowl I recall several good ones. My favorite though was a commercial for Shout. It involved a man on a job interview with a stain on his shirt. While he rattled off his accomplishments and qualifications, all the supervisor could do was stare at the stain, which was personified and spewing an onslaught of distracting  gibberish. It was hilarious!

While all of my friends took bathroom breaks during the commercials, I directed my attention away from a Sudoku puzzle to the television, watching the  approach and paying special attention to the scripting. After all, this was my first Superbowl as an advertising copywriter and I wanted to soak it all in because just as a writer’s style improves with exposure to other authors, an advertising copywriter’s approach improves with more ad exposure. At least for me anyway.

I’ve always worked this way. It’s like learning a complex math formula without an example. You can rattle off the methodology until you’re blue in the face, but unless I see it in action, mastering the formula is impossible.

Now writing comes a bit easier than math-actually a lot easier- but seeing a successful ad in action serves as the ultimate learning tool. You discover what works and what doesn’t and apply it to your work routine.

When I first started working at DDA, I relied heavily on example. I read and re-read the veteran creative and online copywriter work to understand the ins and outs of search engine optimized copy. I sifted through the print archives, analyzing custom designed brochures, postcards, and sell sheets to pick up on the use of motifs and understand approaches to market-focused copy. Even today–more than a year into my position as a copywriter–I turn to my fellow writers for inspiration. There is always room for improvement and I forever have my feelers out for better techniques and approaches to writing.

So go on, enjoy your football and I’ll enjoy the ads.