Have you ever struggled when writing? You drum your fingers on the keyboard, prepared for the perfect idea to strike. In the meantime, your mind wanders to important questions, like how the post office operates (Mail AND packages? That just seems like too much going on).

Yeah, that’s never happened to me. I mean, I’ve been close. Like that time when I couldn’t think of anything to write for this post until I received a gift from the Spotify gods: the Counting Crows’ song “Mr. Jones.”

In between thinking about how insane it is that “attractively challenged” frontman Adam Duritz ever dated Courteney Cox AND Monica Potter, I realized that the lyrics—when taken completely out of context—contain some good advice for advertising.

“We all want something beautiful”

A profound truth. Every product has a chance to be beautiful—take, for example, the redesigned Fanta bottle. It took years to develop, but the result is a container that’s a clever twist (pun intended and relished) on what’s inside. Even the ninth best-selling soft drink can inspire intriguing design.

“We stare at the beautiful women”

An obvious critique of the depiction of women in popular culture. A recent collaboration between The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and J Walter Thompson New York shows that gender roles are still alive and well in advertisements, and that’s a colossal bummer. Kudos to the Crows for telling it how it is…and probably how it was back in 1993, when the song was released.

“When I stare at the television, I want to see me staring right back at me”

 This speaks to the success of the Dove campaign for real beauty. When people see themselves reflected in the media, the message resonates. What a great opportunity to cast people who represent the real world. (Either that or the CCs totally predicted the rise of social media, in which case, mind blown.)

“Shalalala la la la”

Lighten up. Get weird with it. Have fun.

Sincere thanks to the Crows for inspiring me with their, um, poetry. Let these lessons sit until next week, when I’ll be dissecting “Tubthumping” for investment tips.

Advertisements