As an experience creation agency, our team’s daily experiences mean a lot to us. Join our interns as they share their experiences via a multi-part blog series chronicling their summer journey here at Momentum.
“Copyrighting…so like, you’re making patents this summer?”
When trying to describe to my friend Kylie what I’d actually be doing this summer, I realized that I couldn’t give a very detailed answer. I knew I’d be writing, and that my client was Verizon, but to be honest, I had no idea what copywriting at an experiential agency would entail.
Well I’ve been here for 4 weeks (basically a veteran), and I’m figuring some things out. So for Kylie, and anyone else who’s a little confused about what a copywriting intern does at Momentum—this one’s for you.
Each creative project begins with a presentation from our killer strategy team. The client tells business leadership what problem they want to solve, the business leaders relay that to strategy, and strategy looks at data in creative ways to come up the most important aspects to focus on. Sometimes, when the client has a lot of different “asks” it can turn into a not-so-brief, but the strategists do their best to boil it down to the good stuff.
So funny story, actually. I know nothing about football, but Verizon does a lot with the NFL. That’s where research comes in. As soon as I get a brief, I return to my desk and pull up my two favorite websites: Wikipedia and Google. Slowly but surely I’ve been learning the rules and traditions of every sport Verizon sponsors.
Want to know a secret? The majority of our time is spent sitting in a circle, pen and paper in hand, throwing out ideas and seeing if they stick to the target. This is my favorite part, but also the most nerve-wracking. Brainstorming is the ultimate test of creativity. It’s one thing to type up a witty line for a print ad—it’s quite another to invent an experience that will change the way people perceive a brand.
At first, the ideas pour out onto the page as if they’re writing themselves, but as a brainstorm continues, that stream slows to a trickle. It’s quiet. The team is left staring into space, waiting for that Cannes Lion-winning idea to pop into our heads; we’re in the eye of the brainstorm. It’s tempting to feel like you’ve reached your creative limits, like the well of ideas has completely dried up and maybe marketing isn’t for you. This is where Momentum is different. Everyone I’ve met here has this freakish tenacity that I didn’t think was possible. When we get stuck, we re-visit the strategic springboard, we look up campaigns we admire for inspiration, and we add other voices to the conversation. My team has shown me that you can’t just sit around waiting for ideas to come—you have to get out there and find them.
Once we have enough good stuff in our notebooks, it’s time to transform the jumble of scribbles into a beautiful presentation. We start by writing a “copy deck,” a deck of slides explaining the ideas (and making them sound awesome) in about 100 words each. Once we have a copy deck that everyone’s proud of, the art directors and designers make it beautiful it by adding branding and designing images called “comps,” that help the client visualize the ideas.
After hours of tweaking and re-ordering, the deck is ready to go to under the knife, or rather, , the dreaded red pen. We present this deck, our pride and joy, to the Creative Directors and Chief Creative Officer, knowing that they want to push us to do our best work, hoping that it’s not total crap, crossing our fingers that they like our favorites and then….
/Return to a new Brief and Brainstorm. Rinse and Repeat.
Caroline Webster is spending her summer as a creative copywriting intern at Momentum NY and is a rising senior at Tulane University.