Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The 40 years generation gap

So as this generation takes a leap towards civic society, it's no wonder so many CSR projects by big companies are being awarded at Spikes and Cannes.

Here's an interesting presentation about society's change in thinking every 40 years:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Copywriters Are So Yesterday

Copywriters as we know them are obsolete. What we now need is a new breed of writers : storytellers.

Storytellers who tell stories about brands. Storytellers who make the simplest things wonderful. Storytellers who put a nostalgic smile or tear on people’s face. And most importantly, storytellers who tell stories from the heart, for such stories move people, evoke emotions and are derived from insights that touch the human heart – something you won’t get from joining a mere copywriting course.

However, here’s the good news : Copywriters by nature are storytellers. Of course, there are always exceptions; and those exceptions – those who play by the rules, see no good, possible end to storytelling – will soon be waving the industry farewell.

Are you a storyteller? If yes, the advertising/marketing industry needs you!

International Ad Agencies are looking for Copywriters.

In the past two weeks, I've been spending time with Jeff Orr of TBWA, Szu Lee of McCanns and Yew Leong of Leo Burnett. Everytime we meet, they ask if I have any more copywriters to recommend. They need to hire copywriters, but can't find good ones.

Unfortunately, 95% does not have enough graduates to satisfy them all. Our Idea Rawkstarrs are all snapped up far too quickly.

I tried recommending a few freshies to Jeff, but he is currently pursuing an Idea Rawkstarrs graduate - an Economics grad whose previous job was in a bank. Jeff says this guy's ideas are as good as what he would like to see in a medium-weight copywriter's portfolio! Wow, that says a lot for this guy.

I'm writing this because I have met many young hopefuls who want to be copywriters. Some have even managed to get a job in a small agency. A few are happy, but many feel stuck and are wondering if copywriting is what they really want to do.

Don't give up yet, guys. You just need the right training to put you on the right track. Your idea generation needs to be guided and disciplined. If you want the international Ad Agencies to pursue you, get yourself trained : Idea Rawkstarrs starts on 2nd December 2014.


Didi Pirinyuang
Joined McCann-Erickson as a copywriter soon after graduating from 95%

"Joining 95% set the wheels of my career in motion. Things, career-wise, were pretty much stuck in a rut prior to my enrollment. I was in a mediocre ad agency doing mediocre work, getting nowhere. But now, I've just gone for three interviews at three different international agencies on three consecutive days. Not bad, I think. What's even better is that out of these three agencies, two have given me an on-the-spot job offer."

Mei Shum
A copywriter at a small local agency, she's been trying to learn on the job, on her own for 6 years.

"Before the training, I was stuck in a rut and was pretty lost at sea without direction. I wasn't even sure I should be a copywriter. But now i know for sure who I am and what I'm capable of. I'm now armed with the skills, the knowledge and the confidence to move up and onwards. I've learned how to harness my full potential. What I've learned and taken away from 95% has really given a new lease on life."

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Who are you, and what is your dream?

We had the privilege of hearing, no, not just hearing, but experiencing, Bryce Courtenay share at Spikes 2010.

The message I got from him is...

Life is not about what you have. It's not about your car, condo, credit cards, etc.
Life is about what you do, who you are, and what your dream is.

When we are young, we have incredible dreams. Then our Parents, Teachers, Peers come and steal them away. They tell us it is not sensible, it won't sustain us, it is ridiculous, ... they are our Dream Stealers. They steal away our imagination, and all that we are left with,... is a career.

Bryce was an orphan who grew up in an abusive orphanage. Ironically, he said he was lucky he didn't have parents to steal his dream away. His dream is to be a storyteller. After a successful career in advertising, he finally retired and became an author. If he can make his dream come true, all of us can too. It may be a long, hard struggle and we'll get kicked in the ass many times, fall again and again, but if we don't give up, we can make our dream come true.

This may not be a revelation, but the energy and passion with which he shared his own journey was amazing. I was engrossed, spellbound, could not move, could not even blink. His energy was enmeshed with mine, creating a new openness, a new channel of healing within me.

I haven't read his book 'The Power Of One' but after meeting him, I must find it.

At Spikes, he took us all by surprise. He carried us away with him on an incredible journey. He made us laugh, he made some of us cry. He left all of us in deep thought, searching ourselves, wondering what is our defining dream...

Thank you Bryce Courtenay, you are the living personification of this quote by Marianne Williamson...

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

To read Bryce Courtenay's profile, click on the title of this post.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why Idea Rawkstarrs before a copywriting course?

Because Idea Rawkstarrs provides you the foundation you need to excel in a copywriting course.

You see, many think that a copywriting course is sufficient to help them launch a career as a copywriter. It may be true for some, but not for many. This is because a copywriting course focuses only on the skill of writing copy. The lecturer or trainer already expects you to have the skill to find good insights, build a solid and creative strategy, generate ideas and evaluate ideas.

But why would I need those skills?

Because to write damn good copy, you need a damn good idea. To have a damn good idea, you need a damn good strategy. To build a damn good strategy, you need damn good insights that ideally, none of your competitors have shouted about. You also need a good, thorough understanding of your target audience and product/service.

Writing copy doesn't start when you get a brief. Only after you have gone through the process of first searching for insights, building a strategy and idea generation, you can begin writing.

This is how Idea Rawkstarrs prepares you for a copywriting course – regardless where you take the copywriting course.

Idea Rawkstarrs trains you to…

  • Think like a Marketing/Advertising professional
  • Search for insights that make people raise a brow and go, "Really? I was never aware of that!"
  • Develop a strategic mind (that colleges/universities or even a copywriting course can't)
  • Build a strategy that is reasonable and logical, yet creative at the same time.
  • Become an idea generator who can constantly come up with ideas that answer the brief and strategy
  • Be your own source of inspiration instead of waiting for inspiration to find you (Don't you think it's immensely torturous and frustrating when you stare at the computer screen or black piece of paper waiting for ideas but none just seem to answer your call?)
  • To evaluate ideas strategically, creatively and logically

Once you have the skills above, writing copy will be easier. And even if others reject your copy, you’ll know what questions to ask pertaining to the rejection, instead of just settling for the answer : Not enough oomph la, or I don't feel it yet la, or it's not there yet.

You deserve much better than that.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I can be a good copywriter without going through Idea Rawkstarrs, right? So it’s a ‘nice to have’ instead of a ‘must have’, right?

It's true that there are copywriters who did not go through a training like Idea Rawkstarrs but turned out to be excellent copywriters. Yasmin Ahmad, for one did not go through a training like that. So did Neil French and David Ogilvy. But those are only the few who made it big in copywriting. What about the others?

Every year, agencies take in fresh copywriters, but often we get these common feedback :-

  • I don't know what I'm doing.
  • I don't know what I'm doing is right or wrong...
  • Is this what a copywriter should be doing?
  • I find it so difficult to come up with ideas! I have mental blocks!
  • My ideas are always rejected! I'm always told to come up with more ideas because the ones that I've come up with are not good enough, or do not have enough oomph!
  • My copy is always rejected, always not good enough!
  • Clients always tell me things like "It's not there yet" or "Hmmm… I don't feel it" or "Not enough oomph la". What on earth does that mean?

Thing is, because of the rate work is going on in the agency, there may be no time at all for the seniors to mentor these fresh copywriters, let alone clients (else why would they be paying the agency, right?).

That's where Idea Rawkstarrs come in. This training is designed to provide you the foundation you need to advance in your copywriting career, and that includes :-

  • Being able to produce good ideas under immense stress
  • Strategic and creative thinking
  • Solid understanding of marketing and advertising
  • Street-smart Market Analysis
  • And many more…

It's true that these skills can be learned as one goes through life. Some take years and years to learn, while some who are sensitive and who work instinctively like Yasmin Ahmad, David Ogilvy and Neil French are the ones who soar. While not everyone is innately as sensitive and instinctive as these great copywriters, but everyone can be.

That’s how this experiential intensive training called Idea Rawkstarrs is going to train you.

Note : Idea Rawkstarrs does not cover train you to write copy, but it provides you with the solid foundation that every copywriter needs, and that’s the skill of looking for insights, coming up with a creative strategy that will solve a marketing problem, and coming up with ideas that answer the brief and strategy, and that are creative.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Qualities of a Good Idea

"Gimme a good idea!" The marketing and advertising industry constantly demands for it. But what is a good idea? What makes an idea good?

Well, for those who know Janet, you'll know that an idea is good (or has some gems in it) when she raises one of her eyebrows by half a cm, when she goes wide-eyed for 4.235 seconds, or when she sucks in a deep breath.

Our grads know that it's hard to please award winning creative director Janet Lee (right guys?), but after the trainings they had undergone with Janet as their Idea Guru, it's easier to come up with good ideas.

So, what's a good idea? What makes an idea good? We've compiled a list of qualities that your ideas should have, but note that this list isn't exhaustive.

A GOOD idea…

1. Makes people go : WOW! Why didn’t I think of that?!

2. Arouses emotion

3. Increases sales

4. Gets people talking about it

5. Gets people sharing it or passing it around

6. Inspires people

7. Challenges your competitors (not always the case)

8. Causes people to come back for more

9. In sync with the current trends

10. Engages your target audience

11. And the list goes on…

"The only thing that matters is how you touch people. Have I given anyone insight? That's what I want to have done. Insight lasts; theories don't." – Peter Drucker


Tell me how can I generate good ideas! Click here : Idea Rawkstarrs
I need to talk to someone about generating ideas! Email : Jon at jon@95percent.com.my

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Huh? Idea Rawkstarrs can help me in being an Art Director or Graphic Designer? Can ah?

We've talked about if Idea Rawkstarrs can help students or switchers be good Copywriters in our previous post, but can the training help them be Art Directors or Graphic Designers? Certainly yes! As you would already know, designing and art directing do not just revolve around pretty pictures, aesthetics and beautiful color combinations; but also ideas.

Remember those days when you were staring at the blank piece of drawing block or blank screen while stressing out and scratching your head? You hear that bugging voice in your head that keeps screaming, "Need… Ideas. Need. Good. Ideas!"

Desperate for inspiration, you begin browsing through websites by great designers or books with beautiful designs. You scan each image, hoping quietly that inspiration will just come and spark something fresh and inspiring in your mind. Yet, sometimes, it just doesn't come! Ah, the frustration!

In Idea Rawkstarrs, you will discover ways to unblock your mental blocks. You will also learn the skill to churn out ideas continually, with or without pressure – a skill immensely important to art directors and graphic designers.

But everybody can come up with ideas!

True. But oftentimes many come up with ideas not knowing why the ideas work or don't. Creative Directors who have interviewed ad freshies (those who are new to the advertising industry) expect the interviewees to be able to discuss their ideas in a meaningful way.

Jeff Orr, Executive Creative Director of TBWA/ISC Malaysia said, "I'd like to be able to hold an intelligent conversation with them about their portfolio. Why they've done what they've done. How they arrived at the strategy, what were their other ideas. It's their intelligence I’m buying."

What adds to the frustration of many ad freshies (especially graphic designers and art directors) is the common struggle to express their ideas clearly. Those who can express their ideas with clarity often bring joy to the interview sessions.

So how does Idea Rawkstarrs fit into the picture?

Idea Rawkstarrs is like a pressure cooker where you will be trained to be able to be able to come up with ideas that not only solves a problem, but also wow and impress people. In addition to that, you will be able to think strategically. The classes are designed in a way that allows you to express yourself and your ideas and hones that skill as you go along.

So, can Idea Rawkstarrs help you in being an Art Director or Graphic Designer? Based on the participants we’ve trained, we can say 'Yes' with all confidence. Note however that Idea Rawkstarrs doesn't train you in designing (the skill aspect) but in conceptualizing ideas.


For more information about Idea Rawkstarrs, email Janet at janetlee@95percent.com.my or Jon at jon@95percent.com.my

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Comfort vs Happiness

image by seanmcgrath

"In life, you've to choose if you want a life of comfort or a life of happiness?" - Karthik Siva (aka Strat Planning God)

There are some who believe that comfort brings happiness. But we believe that it is growth that brings happiness, for in comfort lies complacency where there is no space for growth, no space for struggle. But when one decides to grow, though challenge and struggles arise, yet in the end, there is a sense of realization, satisfaction and most importantly, happiness.

That's why we work so hard to train individuals, agencies and corporations. We believe that it is possible for people to be at their best, to be contributing selflessly and to be loving. And in so believing, we choose to work for what we believe in, and that's making this world a better place.

Which do you choose then? A life of comfort or a life of happiness?

Monday, September 06, 2010

Huh? Idea Rawkstarrs can bring me closer to my dream of being a copywriter? Really?

Yes, definitely! You see, the job of a copywriter goes beyond just writing. It's writing copy that answers the brief, is in sync with the strategy and most importantly, supports the idea. Sounds difficult? Well, one who understands the work process of an ad practitioner would find it easier to come up with copy that does all of the above.

So what is the work process? 

Before writing the copy and once you've gotten the brief, you will need to embark on a mission to search for insights about the market and the target audience! After that, you will need to work on a strategy as to what you want to say about your product or service. The moment the strategy is solid enough, you can then start on bursting with ideas that answer the brief and strategy.

After you get a good, solid, wow idea, that’s only when copy begins!

But how would I know if my idea is good, solid and wow? 

That's where Idea Rawkstarrs can train you to not only be able to identify what ideas are awesome, but also how do you come up with inspiring ideas. Because writing copy comes before ideas, generating idea will be one of the biggest challenges for you (in fact, for everybody!) With the ability to churn out good ideas – ideas that not only work and solve a real marketing/advertising problem, but also wow and impress people, you will be closer to your dream of being a copywriter than ever before!


Our next intake for Idea Rawkstarrs is on 2nd December 2014.
For the prospectus, click on this link : Idea Rawkstarrs Prospectus
For the website, click on this link : Idea Rawkstarrs Website
To know more about the training, contact Jon Chu at jon@95percent.com.my or Janet Lee at janetlee@95percent.com.my
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