Copy Worth Copying

When someone-with-something-to-sell gets you to take money out of your pocket, THAT PERSON communicated well…especially with times as frugal as they are now.
People who write advertising copy are the ultimate Survival Speakers.
If you don’t buy, they don’t eat.

“Shy sales people have skinny children.”
General Motors Mediaworks President/CEO Rick Sirvaitis

Because I write so much advertising copy myself, I have a very real appreciation for good technique. So I’ll use this page to post examples of what I consider effective selling copy.
Whether or not you actually sell a product or service, emulate the work you see quoted here, and you will communicate more effectively. For instance:

“The New York Times in a New York minute”
US Airways magazine ad for Amazon’s Kindle

“Better legs and a better butt, with every step.”
Slogan for Reebok Easytone sneakers

“When seconds matter, the police are just minutes away.”
Tom Gresham’s “Gun Talk” radio show

“If you’re terrified of the dentist, or just too busy for multiple visits.”
DentalRelaxation.com, Boston

“In my office, we don’t criticize or give lectures. We just fix smiles.”
Another copy point I’m hearing various dental firms use in advertising in my travels. It’s been estimated that as-much-as one-third of the potential market is unrealized, because people-who-need-dental-work are fearful…so this copy lets the prospect save face (LITERALLY).

Is the advertiser the best spokesperson?
Sometimes.
You’ll THINK this prominent Las Vegas advertiser is a put-on, but he’s real, and getting big results.
Her story sucks-you-in. And note: Copy includes NO phone number or address, or even a web site. It’s about remembering HER NAME. She’s a person, approachable.

More great copy I’m hearing in my travels…

“Get in. Get out. Get on with your life.”
Slogan displayed on “Chili’s To Go” kiosks in airports.

“Jiffy Lube, where you never need an appointment.”
Elegant-in-its-simplicity, helpful and uber-relevant to impulse buyers.

“You don’t have to worry about a thing. We’ll handle everything on our end.”
Comcast cable TV ad, referring to the then-looming, and vexing, Digital TV Transition.

“You supply the ambition. We supply everything else.”
OfficeMax

You wouldn’t trust just anyone.
Boo-BooEach year, Americans spend over $20 BILLION on their pets. Those critters aren’t “animals,” they’re family members. And who better to care for ’em while you’re away than the voice you’re about to hear. She sounds like a kindly elementary school teacher; and she runs “the bed and breakfast for your pet.”
Often, advertisers create messages that are too slick…artistic successes that can turn out to be commercial failures.
This ad — goofy music and sound effects and all — is the opposite.

“Buy tires, get tunes!”
Coupon at the Ford dealer where I bought my car. It’s a Goodyear promotion: “Buy any 4 Goodyear tires and get a $50 iTunes Gift Card. Buy any 4 premium Goodyear tires and get a $100 iTunes Gift Card or an iPod Nano.”

“Better than whatever you’re listening to.”
Billboard, in New York, for Sirius Satellite Radio

“Go ahead. It’s OK to look.”
GREAT line from radio ad copy for Match.com airing nationally.

Talk like this, and you’ll make money:

“If you paid more than $75 for your round trip ticket, you over-paid.”
That was the first sentence of a PA announcement I heard aboard a USAirways flight, and it was GREAT copy…and the flight attendant who read it hung a PERFECT pause after reading it.
This is genius, since everyone on the flight paid more than $75. Because I eavesdrop for a living, I was struck by how many road warriors looked-up-from their Amazon Kindles and iPads and books and magazines. Even those two women sitting behind me, who had just met, and were telling each other EVERYTHING about themselves and their children…even THEY clammed-up.
The announcement invited us to apply for the Bank of America USAirways Visa card. The sign-up bonus? You guessed it, enough miles to qualify for a round-trip ticket. Talk about turning-lemons-into-lemonade! $75 is an outrage as an annual service fee, since some banks offer no-fee cards…but it’s cheap for a round-trip airline ticket.

“The way in when it’s sold out.”
StubHub.com

“Traffic is beneath you.”
Las Vegas Monorail

Penn and TellerAnd speaking of Sin City: NOWHERE will you be more-bombarded-with competing messages like you will in ‘Vegas. Here are two great examples of cutting-through-the-clutter:
“Fewer audience injuries than last year.”
Billboard copy for edgy, always-entertaining, Penn & Teller, at the Rio.

And nearby, here’s hypnotist Anthony Cools, appearing at Paris Las Vegas.

More coming!
Meantime: Send along any great examples you see or hear?
And if you’re writing sales copy, consider this advice, which I scribbled-as-fast-as-I-could when I attended a presentation by Christophe Morin, co-author of “Neuromarketing: Is There A Buy Button Inside The Brain?”

Morin recommends that advertising messages target the most primitive part of the brain, what he calls “the old brain.”

He identifies six stimuli that connect with this part of the brain:

1. Focus on THEM. “The message should be centered on the customer, not the company, product or solution.”

2. Emphasize the before and after. Because the primitive brain responds to contrast, “the consumer must quickly understand the difference between the ‘now’ without the product or service and the ‘tomorrow’ with the product or service. No contrast, no decision.”

3. Keep messages clear and concise. “Words don’t have much impact on the old brain unless they are simple, repeated and supported by images.”

4. Make it visual. Incorporate compelling images in your copy.

5. Focus on the intro and the conclusion. “The old brain pays attention at the beginning of an interaction and at the end. So it’s essential to provide a strong introduction and a strong conclusion.”

6. Emphasize emotions. But you already knew that, right?

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