Pro-Copywriters Hack To Finding The One-Big Idea In Copies




Ortega Ogomigo

Okay. Okay.

We want to talk about something serious today. When last time did you hear or see something really serious? Did you wear a mean or no-frowning look?

Did you clench your fist and bite your teeth together? I remember stumbling on one picture recently. It was a picture of a guy and a lady. Here was the conversation inscribed in the picture:

Lady: Hello, you have not been smiling since we started dating. What’s wrong?

Guy: You said you wanted a serious relationship.

Ha ha! The guy probably misinterpreted the meaning of the word, “serious”

That’s not the kind of “seriousness” we’d be talking about today.

David Ogilvy, the father of advertising, gave a quote on big idea that is almost always reckoned with because he introduced the concept of what the Big Idea is.

“You can do homework from now until doomsday, but you will never win fame and fortune unless you also invent big ideas… It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product… and no idea is big unless it will work for thirty years”


Did the father of Advertising say “an idea that will last for 30 lonnnnng years?”

Yeep yeep. What does that mean to you? It’s simple. This leads us to the finding point of what a big idea REALLY is.

A big idea can be described as the Unique Selling Proposition of an offer. It is what set a company or an idea apart from others. Remember the “30 minutes or less or it’s free” USP used by Domino Pizza?

You see, that USP became the central point of all their messages. It was used for over 40 good years. They still use it today though. That simple 8 word seperated Domino Pizza from other Pizza companies and outlets.

A one big idea focuses on a central message that your other marketing contents is tied to. It contains a piece that is posed to be memorable even if other things are forgotten. Remember spider man?

You probably must have forgotten a lot of scenes, but one I can bet you still remember is this idea:

A weak guy, who was once bullied, got bitten by a spider. Now, becomes supernatural (spider-man), beats bad guys and save the world

That is what David Ogilvy was talking about. The story that can’t be forgotten even if other parts have been forgotten…

And that’s probably why it takes a lot of time to fish out a BIG IDEA. However, in this issue, I’d be showing you how to go about it very fast… without breaking your head or popping your eyes out.


Clear Your Mind:

I know this probably look unconventional but it really works. You don’t want to start your research work with a cluttered and biased mind. It’s usually best to start with a clean and fresh mind.

Here’s what I do:

I take a deep breathe and listen to some relaxation music from either Enya or Yamari…

Then, I list everything – features, benefits, stories, reviews – I know about the topic or offer or product or whatever.

Then, I go to step two:

Research. Research. Research:

By now, you’ve probably spot that I keep emphasizing on the word – RESEARCH because of how relevant it is. Truth is, you can’t necessarily buy your way through. You know, you’re not writing for yourself.

When Claude Hopkins was asked to write a copy for a beer company, he didn’t just create something like several copywriters will do today.


Instead, he took his time, went to the company and there he got the spark. He saw the way beer is being  produced and the refinery process. So he centred his copy on how the company is only one who does care about their health by refining the beer in that manner.

Look at the copy below:










In the Schlitz Beer ads, he told prospects:

“All beer is cooled in plates glass room in filtered air”

“Then the beer is filtered”

“Then it is sterilized after being bottled and sealed”

Claude Hopkins was the first to explain in specific details why the Schlitz beer was pure.  And once he did, the Schlitz beer was permanently established in the heart of the market as being ESPECIALLY PURE.

That’s the power of BIG IDEAS. Like he did, one of the easiest ways to suck good ideas from the market is to BE A STUDENT OF THE MARKET by researching and observing.

Here are some key points you should never ignore when researching

*Research your prospects:

These are folks you would be selling your stuff to. And these guys are not dummies. You can’t possibly create something out of the blues and then push to their face, echoing, “send me money”.

Sorry pal, it doesn’t work that way. You have got to know more about them… even more than they know themselves. Know what make them tick. Know what keeps them awake at night. Know what they are fighting for. Know what they long to get – their desires.

Now to where they are located. Today, it  is very easy. Hundreds to thousands  of your likely prospects are located in some online forums and communities, groups, pages, websites, application….

Then fetch out their thoughts online by using keywords such as…

“I am frustrated about.… + sales”

[Subject of interest] + frustration/fears/desires/pain  + Forum/Communities/Groups

You can narrow it further by using the specific forum or social media

[Subject of interest] + frustration/fears/desires/pain  + Facebook/Twitter/Instagram….

“My most embarrassing moments on..… (whatever subject you’re writing about, say men’s libido)  + Forum/Communities/Groups”

“I am finding difficulties in.…(whatever subject you’re writing about, say Ecommerce sales) + Forum/Communities/Groups”


After doing this, scroll down to the comment sections and start noting the points.

Those samples are gave to you are just samples. Feel free to use whatever keyword that comes to mind.

Pro tip: The best way to fish out a prospects pain or interests is to think like them.

Aside from locating where they spend their most time in online, you can also locate where they stay online…

They could be found in associations and clubs, there you could take a survey or questionnaire.

Note: Many prospects tell lies. So, don’t be a victim by overly believing what they say. Watch their actions and behaviours instead.

*Research your products:

Ask your clients (if you’re writing for one) to find out the reason why the products were created. This will help you find the core-benefit. Now…

Disassemble and rearrange the features and benefits. The weaknesses and strengths. Then, carve out a unique selling proposition after analyzing what the competitors are doing.

Pro tip: Instead of asking yourself “what will the product do” ask “what will the product help the prospects to accomplish?”

The answer could be… To help reduce pain, avoid fear, save money, save time, become creative, make more money….


*Research your competition:

There is a gold-mine in this, but sadly, it’s overlooked and underemphasized.

Believe it or not, one way to come up with creative ideas is to analyze what your competition is doing. Go through their marketing funnel. Keep a swipe file of everything they are doing. Note everything, see what they are doing right and see what they are missing out.  

Pro tip: If a strategy is working for them, then it would work for you too.



Single Out A BIG Problem Your Prospects Will Be Interested In:

From your research you’d be able to get this. Now note, you don’t have to appeal to all your prospects. You just have to appeal to one that would take the most actions. Locate the biggest problem that person would be interested in solving and focus on it.

For instance, take a look at the #ENDSARS protest currently going on in Nigeria. The big problem every one is after solving is this…

Ending. Police. Brutality.

You see, once this idea was sold to several people, they got to their feet after hearing several stories of how policemen (SARS) brutalized several innocent civilians…. rich, poor, entrepreneurs, freelancers, young, old…

Soon, it became everyone’s headache….

Then, the dots started connecting. Nigerians have started to see the success in their protests. This is in whatever way demonstrating the DEMOCRACY they only dreamt of. Soon enough, just watch out, we’d change whatever we feel necessary…

Say, #EndBadGovernment, or #EndASUUStrike or #ENDBadRoad  Whatever.

But, it all started with the central BIG problem that almost everyone needs a solution to. Got that?

Here’s another example.

You sure know that when people are hungry, they need food served fast and hot, right? That’s why you see many restaurants and eateries bubbling up in sales yearly…

And Domino Pizza was no different.

They realized the biggest problem their prospects needed to solve was TIME factor in getting hot pizza, so that was their positioning…

“30 minutes of less, or it’s FREE”

The central point of the message is this:

“If we can make our prospects believe that getting a pizza delivered under 30 minutes is ideal for them to solve their hunger issues and that they could only get it through us then it would be easier to get them to buy from us”

And that was it. Some folks still claim Domino Pizza of then wasn’t all rich in the pizza value, but they bought the big idea because it saved them time.

What is the one thing if solve in your prospect will make a significant difference in their life? Look at this…

Pro-tip: This problem when solved will solve other minor problems like security, shelter, hope, love,


Make your idea Buzzworthy:

Is it new, is it interesting, does it trigger curiosity and make it look like something you wish you had thought about it before?

Buzzworthy messages are easily remembered. The brain quickly associate strange, new, beneficial, interesting things….

How do you make ideas buzzworthy?

First things first, it must be specific.

It must be simple and easy to recall.

“More than just a feeling” – Coke.

It must contain a single story… Not 3, not 5… not 10…  A new discovery.  A big breakthrough

Your storyline must lead to one conclusion, and capture one primary emotion.

Your Big Idea must be new and unique. Not so much a new product, but a new idea behind your marketing idea.

Your message must feel timely. It has to be “arresting.” It must wake your prospects up, and whack ‘em over the head.

Your idea must be immediately understandable and have instant appeal.

Your idea must communicate at your prospects level, not yours.

Getting buzzworthy ideas or making coomon ideas buzzworthy is easy especially when you make KNOWN things look MYSTERIOUS or UNKNOWN.


Known things: Toothpaste ingredient – Flouride.


Making it look MYSTERIOUS: Astronaut Toothpaste Removes Tartar Under A Week. (This of which you probably got from your research)

That would make it look memorable and buzzworthy to children and your prospects, instead of writing “Flouride Removes Tartar…” use something like that.

Got that?

This part of the process has little to do with the writing process. It’s more about the “thinking” and research process before writing.

Now try those secrets out. You’d rip off beautiful ideas that will compel your prospects to act. Now, then focus on just ONE THING.


Ortega Ogomigo