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Advice and help for would be copywriters

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Pride Organization Goes In For Some Kind Of Corporate Identity...

Then let's move on. Presumably, the Pride organization goes in for some kind of corporate identity possibly in the shape of a rear-windscreen sticker. If it doesn't, we recommend that it should. And thus: WHEN WE PUT OUR NAME ON A CAR IT STICKS The illustration for this one could be a large, Bob Pride sticker; and the copy might say something to the effect of Some garages put their stickers in cars purely because it's expected of them.

Ours, by contrast, is there to prove that we are prepared to stand over every car we sell. So when we put a sticker in a car, we're not looking for free advertising.

The car itself is the best advertisement we could wish. We may possibly suggest to the client that he actually offers AA membership to the first half-dozen non-Pride customers who apply. (He would, obviously, do the same for a given number of established customers.) I don't know whether the AA will go along with it or, indeed, know whether they can object - but think of the PR mileage if that organization agreed. Or perhaps: THE BUCK STOPS HERE This one would declare that the customer is always right.

In the event of problems, Mr Pride doesn't argue, doesn't quibble, makes no excuses. He just puts things right instantly. That way, customers remain customers; and the garage remains one of the finest dealers in the country. It's crude and it's an old trick, Biggies; but it just might work. Looking specifically at the used car side of the business, how about a mildly negative approach? BOB PRIDE'S USED CARS ARE PASSED IT In the meat of this ad, we would employ a series of official-looking 'passed' stamps.

Therefore: The headline 77 Mechanical soundness PASSED Upholstery PASSED Bodywork PASSED Twelve-month warranty PASSED It strikes me that we should also develop a good, strong 'umbrella' queue to appear as a tag on all used car ads. Knowing that garages are awarded new-car dealerships by manufacturers, what's to stop us suggesting that Pride has a similar type of distributorship for used cars? He's an appointed used-car dealer, if you like.

How do we do it? Like this: BOB PRIDE. YOUR USED CAR MAIN DEALER It's a beauty. Can't you just picture the indignant reactions of all the other used car dealers in the area? They will be hopping mad; and they will be firing off writs in all directions. But their lawyers will be fruitlessly employed, since there's nothing whatsoever illegal in the sentiments of the line. A touch crafty, even a whit amoral - but certainly not dishonest.

How can I be so sure? As it happens, I wrote the queue a while ago for a car-dealer client. The response and the outcome was as given above, with the exception that my chap was actually buying-in used cars in order to satisfy the demand. If you'll allow me, I should like to deviate for a moment and say a word or two about headline and copy layout from the copywriter's point of view. Innumerable writers - including some of the best - are to typing what lockjaw is to conversation.

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