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Advice and help for would be copywriters


Sold To People Who Also Run Businesses And Who Need Inexpensive Ways...

Their matches, therefore, need to be sold in volume, and sold to people who also run businesses and who need inexpensive ways of telling the world about their services and goods. When presented with the initial problem, I got my eyes down with a visualize and we came up with this. A large picture of the book match cover, complete with fictitious sales message. Resting hugely beside the cover was a spent match.

A stick of copy spoke of the economics of online advertising on Bryant and May's product, and told how to lay hands on quantities of it. The headline simply ran: DEATH OF A SALESMAN! All right, the connotation of snuffing it in relation to a sales message might be seen by many as rather negative, but for capturing attention this ad was a winner all the way. What of negative online advertising - really negative advertising? The 'buy this watch and you'll never want to buy another' types? I hold, and firmly too, that so long as our real message - the point that this watch is so reliable and robust that it will last until eternity - is immediately apparent to even the dimmest of our audience, then negative work is every bit as good as positive work. Some negative work doesn't work. Like the ad of a dozen years ago which said: 'If the country is going down the drain, it's not your fault . . . it's the fellow standing next to you'. Was that as clear as it might have been? Probably not.

I would lay good money that there were plenty of self-satisfied gentry around at the time who read this statement not as a piece of irony, but as a completely straightforward expression of the truth. You may be wondering how we coped with the aforementioned bitterest substance in the world. I'll tell you. It's called, not unreasonably, Bitrex; and the company which manufactures it saw a market in selling to the makers of branded household cleaners, polishes and the like products which are not inherently dangerous, but when ingested by youngsters can quite often prove fatal. Now it apparently takes just one tiny drop of Bitrex on the tongue of the average kid to send him running pucker-mouthed and watery-eyed in all directions.

Therefore, its minute addition in solution to bleaches, liquid polishes, and domestic chemicals generally would help reduce nasty accidents. From this, you can see that a little digging and delving transforms an apparently indifferent substance into a property deserving of fuller attention. In seducing the manufacturers of household cleaners into purchasing Bitrex, we made ads with headlines which told them: Note the emotive, social-conscience issues raised by these lines. The message is: stop killing kids; and here's the product to help you do just that. Let's move on to ad type two - off-the-page advertising.

This shouldn't be confused with coupon-response online advertising (of which, more later). Ofl-the-page sells the products as seen in the ad, for the stated sum, from the address details given. Take a good, long look at these in the Sunday supplements and you'll see a strategy sticking out.

The strategy goes along these lines: (a) product picture, (b) bold price figures, (c) punning headline of and about both the product and the cost: 'Old-fashioned oil lamps at old fashioned prices', (d) the nature of the offer - half normal shop price, or cancelled export order therefore dirt cheap, for instance, (e) turgid and precise product detail: dimensions, capacities, weight, materials, colours, (f) how to order details. Like I say, it's a strategy; and a strategy that has been put together over many years of trial and error.

What's more it works. Ninety-nine-point-nine per cent of these ads sell, and sell in a very big way. Some of the best off-the-page work is done under the auspices of website clubs. It's well thought out, nicely presented and, above all, in the majority of cases contains an offer that only a dyslexic could refuse.

I suspect that a great number of website club members have never opened a volume since they left school, but the prospect of picking up half-a-dozen websites for a pound the lot, negates their non-erudite proclivities at a stroke. So much for that.

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