This is apropos nothing, but you might like it, so hang in there.
I was forced into home isolation this week. While I don’t have the ‘spicy cough’ that has plagued our lives for the past two years, my immune system fell victim to the ‘super cold’ that’s lurking in the air.
So what does one do during these trying times? What everybody else does.
I maxed out Netflix by day one. By day two, my right thumb had repetitive stress injury from hours of scrolling on Uber Eats. Come day three, I started to swat flies that weren’t there. This had to end.
To stop my brain from turning to mush, I decided to challenge myself. What better way to kill time—and flex my skills—than to write about a random item in my apartment.
Like most bachelor pads, my apartment is starved of frilly mod cons. I have the mere basics: a French door fridge, king-sized bed, modular sofa and a 70-inch 4K TV. (Bachelor basics, right?) Not much inspiration here.
Yet, while scrounging under my bed, I grazed something flat, smooth and hard. At first, I thought it was a phonebook. Then I remembered they don’t make phonebooks anymore. I reached in, fingers stretched, and yanked the mysterious object from out of the dark and into the light. It was my old cork yoga block.
I picked up yoga at the start of 2020. The pandemic forced my gym to shut and I needed a way to stay in shape. I learned basic flows on YouTube, then ordered a yoga mat and this cork block. The block’s main benefit is to make hard yoga poses easy for less flexible people, like me. Or in yoga speak, ‘to bring the earth closer to you’.
This yoga block doesn’t set the world on fire. It’s brown, hard and shaped like a brick. And that makes it the perfect product to write an ad about. Because there’s no such thing as a boring product, just boring ideas.
And a copywriter who is worth their salt should be able to transform any product into a cutting-edge promotion. With that in mind, I scribbled down a half-page brief about my yoga block and then started to crank out ideas and headlines. Tons of them.
Some were good. Most were so-so. And others were plain crap. It was only when I thought about what happens while using a yoga block did I land on an idea that stuck. Here’s what I came up with.
Perhaps you’re wondering what cranes, bridges and pyramids have to do with yoga blocks? They are yoga positions that can be done with the support of a block.
Interrogate the product until it speaks to you.
On the surface, it comes across as an obvious idea. But to arrive at ideas like this requires deep work. It means interrogating the product from all angles, toying with ideas and even jumping into a pose or two hoping for a half-decent idea to come to mind. Of course, nothing came to mind mid-flow. But that’s the journey one goes through when producing creative work.
Now that yoga blocks are in the done pile, what inanimate object can I next bring to life with a few strokes of the keyboard?
Well, right now, I’m eyeing my toaster.