Bridge from Nowhere

“The human body is only comfortable when contorted”

Yeah…you read that right. That’s kinda a weird statement isn’t it?

And that’s the point.

If you want to get someone’s attention in your advertising and marketing you can’t serve them vanilla every time or just a plain old “black” Model T.

If you do, you’ll shine about as bright as the Detroit Lions.

Here is something I call the “B.O. Scale.” It looks like this;


“B” stands for Bland and “O” stands for Outrageous. If it is not painfully obvious, you want your message to be closer to the “O” end of the scale not the “B”.

Everything near the “B” has “B.O.”; the stench of rotten boredom.

So here is how you do it; go ahead and write your copy for the ad. Don’t worry about a headline, skip that part. Use TRIZ Lens 13 – The Other Way Round; Start with “How to End” the message, not how to start it, because that is going to be the last mental image your reader is left with. And if you have done it right, it will be the thing that sticks in their memory over the long haul.

Once you have written the copy and are satisfied with it, set it aside. If you need a jump start on writing killer copy, take a peak at the 60-Second Copywriter.

Here’s the next step; Go find a group of people to brainstorm as many outrageous headlines as they can. Ones that are wacky and interesting. But here is the key;

Don’t tell them a thing about the product or service that your ad is addressing.

Don’t show them any of the copy. None of it.

Then pick your best headlines that are as far right on the “BO scale” as you can, without any apparent connection to the copy of the ad. Use that as your headline.

Now you are asking yourself, “What in the world does this line have to do with the rest of the message?”

If your boss says something like that, then you are on the right track.

That is where the Bridge from Nowhere kicks in. Study the headline and the body of the copy to find the connections. At first they won’t be obvious, but they are always there. Everything in the world is connected; sometimes it takes some mental grease to find it, but it’s not that hard if you just try.

Once you’ve found the connection, then re-write the first few lines after the headline so that the transition from “outrageous to copy” now makes sense.

The Bridge from Nowhere approach will capture your audience’s attention even though they won’t know where you are going with it. Then you lead them to the perfect Last Mental Image.

Got it?

Mark L. Fox

About admin

Mark L. Fox is a leading authority on teaching practical creative thinking techniques for business. Mark was the youngest Chief Engineer ever on the Space Shuttle program at the age of 31. He received NASA’s highest recognition of “Launch Honoree” at the age of 23. Mark has an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering with an MBA. Having held top management positions in Rocket Science, Aircraft Hydraulics, Engineering Services, Customer Service, Software, and e-Business, Mark has an extremely diversified background.

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