Friday, April 10, 2009

Better Novels Through Advertising

Charles here, in the pre-dawn hours at my office at Dixon Schwabl, the advertising, marking and public relations firm where I spend my days learning to become a better novelist.

Yes, a better novelist.

I often say that writing an effective TV or radio spot is a great way to sharpen your skills in terms of plot, character, setting and dialog. And when I say this people just smile at and mumble something like ‘you poor deluded man’. I try to explain the similarities between good ads and good stories, but after that first statement, people assume anything else I say will be equally ridiculous.

Fortunately for you, I will not give up.

For first in a series of vitally important and informative lessons on Better Novels Through Advertising, I get all academic on you. European academic at that.

First, watch this Nike video from 1998 called “Good vs. Evil”

Now, follow this link to and download The Rhetoric of Mythological Branding by Fabian Baustisa. (Yes, it would be nice to have a simple link that takes you right to the paper, but I can’t give you everything – you have to work for it to appreciate it.)

After you watch the spot and read the paper, you will see that, rather than spending all that money getting that degree in Creative Writing, you should have studied copywriting.


Vicki Delany said...

Thanks, Charles. Loved the video and I'll read the paper. I'm reading a Booker prize winning novel right now for an appearance on book club TV and half way in I'm wondering when the plot is going to start.

Sandra Parshall said...

Either be a copywriter or a journalist. Either will teach you how to find the heart of the message, then get to the point without sacrificing the exciting details that keep people hooked.

Debby (Deborah Turrell) Atkinson said...

I always enjoy a tie-in to mythology. Dan Brown pulled it off beautifully, didn't he? Seems like the use of a strong association can be stronger than the novel, too. Snark, snark.