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Treasure Hunt

Searching for some sparkling ad copy? It might be right under your nose.

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This story appears in the July 1997 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Instead of looking heavenward, as many of us do, for inspiration on how to improve our advertising, sometimes it pays to do just the opposite: Look downward. By that I mean look down into the belly of your current advertising copy for any buried treasure that might merit boosting to the top, perhaps even as a stronger, more eye-catching headline than the one you're using.

I say this because there have been several times a client has anointed me an advertising Einstein as the result of a smart ad concept I've presented, only to learn the idea was actually theirs. I merely found it lying mildewed in the fourth paragraph of their old advertising copy and raised it to its rightful place. You'd be surprised how much potentially powerful, fresh headline material lies hidden below the surface of a lot of advertising efforts.

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