Brand Story, Episode 8

Scripts Are the Starting Line

with Ken Marcus

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Episode Summary

Writing might be a solitary sport, but the magic happens when you get others involved.

From concept to commercial, Ken Marcus, Senior Writer at The Martin Agency, plays a major role in campaigns for brands like GEICO and Sling. But he would be the first to say that the end result — the spot — is better than the script because it takes a team to take an idea from good to great.

In this episode of the Brand Story Podcast, Ken takes us through the creative process, from establishing strong relationships with clients, collaboration, writing for comedy, and being single-minded in your messaging.

Episode Highlights

Scripts are a starting line — not the finish line. Leave some room for group ingenuity on creative projects. Sometimes the best material happens unexpectedly.

Trust leads to risk-taking. Clients are more likely to take creative risks when you have a strong relationship. Taking creative risks leads to work that not only breaks through the noise but makes the brand shine.

Approach comedy with humanity. The best, most relatable comedy is when it’s drawn from real life, of human truths. If it’s something that someone can nod their head at and laugh with, you’re on to something.

Great communication is distillation. If someone throws 3 tennis balls at you – you can’t catch any of them. If someone throws 1 – you’ll catch it. Be single-minded in your messaging so that your audience will ‘catch’ the message you’re trying to get across.

Not attributes, but benefits. When creating an ad, always ask: How do we solve someone’s problem? What does the audience care about?

About Ken

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What he does:

Senior Writer at The Martin Agency
Adjunct professor at VCU Brandcenter

Company:

The Martin Agency
VCU Brandcenter

Words of Wisdom:

“I think at the end of the day, it’s just about humanity, being relatable, having that truth in there, while being fun and surprising.”

About Steve

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As the President of Gravity Group, Steve is passionate about helping brands reach their goals through honest, creative marketing and powerful brand stories.

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