Something Is Happening Here, But You Don’t Know What It Is

Ideas can come from anywhere.
How many times have you heard that one? Richard Huntington of Adliterate has heard it one too many times and is therefore out to rebut this “pernicious and destructive cliche.”

Maybe the odd idea can come from anywhere but from whom are breathtaking strategic, creative and executional ideas more likely to come? Who is more likely to be the architect of a ground breaking piece of strategic thinking? Who is more likely to find a creative expression that dramatises it in a way that has never been experienced before. And who is more likely to create an executional approach that mesmerises people? It could be anyone involved in the project but my money is on those people that do this every hour of everyday of their professional lives, people that instinctively know when something is verging on greatness or just a pile of tat.

In other words, trust the professional, point them in the right direction and give them some room to think. This is particularly true for one’s copy needs, since everyone with a keyboard in front of them—especially account execs and clients—believe they’re equipped to write compelling copy. I promise you nothing is further from the truth. Good copywriters are skilled craftsmen with the portfolios to prove it.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. An idea can come from anywhere.
    What takes talent and experience is coming up with 50 solid ideas. And then separating the wheat from the chaff to get 5 good ideas. And then massaging them to make them great. And then knowing how to maintain the greatness of the idea when your ideas start being tweaked by bosses and clients. And then possibly starting over from square one.
    That is what it takes to be a good creative.

  2. It’s ironic that I viewed this post alongside a banner ad for the amazing AdTextGenerator

  3. Not everyone is a writer. This we can agree upon.
    But having worked on both the agency and customer side, and having a colloaborative creative process, suggests a really great idea can come from anywhere.
    I would posit that a true strategic thinker and professional agency builds and nutures an idea regardless of its origin. That is where the real magic occurs – bringing the idea, spark all to life.