Copywriting Tutorial: How to Unlock Creative Thinking

Learn real-life exercises to generate ideas and unlock your creativity with Andreia Ribeiro

Creativity isn’t magic and ideas don’t come out of nowhere. It is really hard to find good creative solutions, especially when it comes to turning abstract words and concepts into practical things.

Copywriter and creative director Andreia Ribeiro (@andreia_v_ribeiro) works for major companies including Mercedes-Benz and McDonald’s. She knows that finding the right words can change your life.

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Copywriter and creative director Andreia Ribeiro’s clients include Mercedes-Benz and McDonald’s.

Andreia started work as a copywriter in 2005. Her career led to some of Portugal’s biggest advertising agencies and her current post at BBDO. She is also Vice-President of Portugal’s Clube de Criativos (Creatives Club) and sits on the jury at creativity festivals all over the world. As well as discovering truths about products and brands and publishing them to the whole world, Andreia also loves writing comedy and stories for children.

She has won numerous advertising awards in Portugal and globally, but claims never to have won one of those competitions where you have to write a slogan to win a pair of cinema tickets!

In this tutorial, she teaches you practical ways to unlock your creativity. Don’t miss it!

Don’t judge

The most important rule of any creative process is to not judge. Regardless of whether you’re working alone, as a team or in a group, the process has to flow freely and without prejudice, because that freedom is where you’ll find surprising ideas.

Creativity doesn’t like prisons. Never forget that.

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Creativity isn’t magic and ideas don’t come out of nowhere.

Lateral vs. Vertical thought

Our brain uses both these thought types to make decisions every day. Vertical, aka convergent thought focuses on finding the right pragmatic solution to a problem. It’s a very practical, analytical kind of thinking, which uses logic as its guide.

On the other hand, lateral or divergent thinking is related to creativity, new ideas and a wealth of possibilities and references. It doesn’t exclude any possibilities and allows abstraction. Despite this inventiveness, our brain couldn’t survive on lateral thinking alone, because it would be too stressful.

So we need both systems to be in harmony. We need to be free to have ideas, and to keep our feet firmly on the ground to be able to make them happen. One complements the other.

Post-it brainstorm

Remember that brainstorm literally means “a storm of ideas“. In copywriting, a brainstorm is a creative meeting to share ideas, separate concepts and define the direction of a project. It’s an interesting, exhausting and extremely funny process.

Any idea goes and shouldn’t be discarded. Like any creative process, you need the widest possible range of references and ideas. Which is what advertisers and copywriters love and hate.

In this technique, everyone is given a set of post-it notes and a timeframe in which they need to write down three kinds of ideas (thoughts, words and images) on their colorful bits of paper.

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Everyone writes ideas on their post-it notes.

Everyone writes their ideas on the post-it notes. It has to fit on the paper, because this forces you to summarize and produces more finished ideas.

Next everyone places their post-its under the categories: Thoughts, Words and Images, and gives a brief explanation of the thinking behind each idea. An artistic director guides the process to enable dialogue and help everyone arrive at a practical solution.

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Everyone places their post-it in the categories: Thoughts, Words and Images.

Value judgements are outlawed at this point because it’s a free, idea-finding process.

This method helps define the campaign concept or any other idea needed for your current project.

Remember that having an idea isn’t magic: you can create methods and exercises to find solutions.

Love this tutorial? If you want to learn how to create your own slogan and elevator pitch using creative advertising techniques, don’t miss Andreia’s online course: Copywriting to Convey Your Personal Brand.

You may also like:

- 5 Apps to Help You Focus
- Creativity Tutorial: How to Beat Creative Block
- What is Creative Block and How to Overcome it?
- 20 Key Concepts for Surviving in the Creative World
- Storytelling Tutorial: 5 Tips That Make You a Better Storyteller
- Top Tips for Using Copywriting to Strengthen Your Personal Brand


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