Tease concepts and some of the examples were taken from chapter 8 the adweek copywriting handbook by Joseph Sugerman, I would be just explaining them in my own words.
The slippery slide.
Picture a slippery slide at a playground.
Now picture somebody putting baby oil or grease along on it.
Then picture yourself now climbing up the ladder, sitting at the top of the slide and then letting gravity force you down the slide.
As you start to slide down and build momentum, you try holding on to the sides to stop, but you can’t stop.
You continue to slide down the slide despite all your efforts to prevent your descent.
Every element in an advertisement must cause that slippery slide effect.
Your ad must be so compelling that the reader will read it until the end.
So how can you cause the slippery slide effect?
There are a lot of ways to do it. Some methods work better than others.
But perhaps the best way to do it, is by combining interesting surveys/stories with your sales massage.
But people are not dumb. They understand the difference between made up and real stories.
So what you need to do is save random articles you read online. They might turn out to be useful.
Here is an example:
An article was published about a trusted accountant who was caught embezzling money from his company.
So Joseph Sugerman wrote an ad based on that article.
Headline: Last Wish
Subheadline: He was a prisoner confined to a cell block. “Give him one last wish,” pleaded his wife.
Copy: George Johnson is in a state penitentiary for a white-collar crime. His seven-year sentence gives him plenty of time to exercise.
Johnson, 36 years old, always took care of himself.
He exercised regularly, ate good food and took vitamins. But he got greedy.
As a company accountant he kept issuing bogus checks to “Cashin Electric Company” for electrical contracting work.
One day his boss noticed the large payments being made to the Cashin Electric Company and discovered that the outfit didn’t exist.
Johnson was actually typing out checks to “Cash,” cashing them himself and then after the checks cleared the bank and were returned to his company, he carefully typed on the checks “in Electric Company” after the word “Cash.”
Since he was a trusted accountant, who would suspect?
His wife was more sympathetic than the judge.
She wanted to help her husband and suggested he pick an exercise product for his cell—something that was easy to store and could give him a complete workout.
And the prison agreed.
Johnson chose a Precor precision rower. Here’s why( then he started talking about the features and benefits of the product).
And then the ad kind of ended like this.
Before I tell you which rower Johnson selected, I have a confession to make.
I love the Precor line of rowers so much that I probably committed a crime too.
The story about Cashin Electric Company is true.
Some trusted accountant was sent to prison. But his name wasn’t Johnson and his wife never called JS&A to order a thing, let alone a rower.
But one night, while I was trying my hardest to figure out a new way to share my enthusiasm for the Precor rowers, I started getting a little silly and concocted this dumb story about Johnson and his interest in the rower.
Copywriting is not easy and sometimes you go a little bonkers.(And that’s how he told the prospects all the features and benefits without losing any credibility.)
Here is another example of connecting a random story with the product.
The article:According to a survey of 1,000 adult Brits conducted by London-based Survey Research Associates, one in ten British men wears the same underpants two or three days running.
One in a hundred wears the same pair all week. Half the women polled said they kept wearing underwear after it went gray with age.
The product:Scrub balls.They were simply golf ball-sized spheres that you put in your washing machine with your laundry.
They sloshed around scrubbing the clothes to bring out more dirt and make the clothes cleaner and whiter.
They also saved on detergent and made your clothes cleaner while using less water.
Headline: British Men Have Underwear Problem
Subheadline: New survey shows that many British men do not change their underwear for up to three days, and some even as long as a week.
Copy: Holy Odor Eaters! Has Britain got a problem?
It seems that the men in Britain don’t change their underwear often and the survey mentioned above shows that many men change their underwear just once a week.
But there’s an important question I’d like to ask you.
How often do you change yours?
If you’re like most Americans, you change it every day. And as an American, you probably use more detergent than most Britons.
But there is one more surprise that you may not realize, either. Americans have a serious waste problem. Let me explain…..
Some other ways…..
It’s not like you always have to use stories or surveys in your Ad. Our main goal is to keep our ads interesting. So we can make sure that our prospects keep reading.
Every ad talks about great features of their product, and that’s why they are so boring.
So telling unusual things really helps.
For example ;
Subheadline: A new consumer concept lets you buy stolen merchandise if you’re willing to take a risk.
Highlighted Copy Block: Impossible-to-trace Guarantee—We guarantee that our stolen products will look like brand-new merchandise without any trace of previous brand identification or ownership.
Copy: We developed an exciting new consumer marketing concept.
It’s called “stealing.” That’s right, stealing! Now if that sounds bad, look at the facts.
Consumers are being robbed. Inflation is stealing our purchasing power. Our dollars are shrinking in value.
The poor average consumer is plundered, robbed and stepped on.
So the poor consumer tries to strike back.
First, he forms consumer groups. He lobbies in Washington. He fights price increases. He looks for value.
So we developed our new concept around value. Our idea was to steal from the rich companies and give to the poor consumer, save our environment and maybe, if we’re lucky, make a buck.
So that’s our concept.
We recycle “lousy rotten” garbage into super new products with five-year warranties.
We steal from the rich manufacturers and give to the poor consumer. We work hard and make a glorious profit.
Here is another example;
Headline: Magic Baloney
Subheadline: You’ll love the way we hated the Magic Stat thermostat until an amazing thing happened.
Picture Caption: It had no digital readout, an ugly case and a
stupid name. It almost made us sick.
Copy: You’re probably expecting our typical sales pitch, but get
ready for a shock.
For instead of trying to tell you what a great
product the Magic Stat thermostat is, we’re going to tear it apart.
When we first saw the Magic Stat, we took one look at the name
and went, “Yuck.” We took one look at the plastic case and said,
“How cheap looking.”
And when we looked for the digital readout, it had none. So before the salesman even showed us how it worked, we were totally turned off.”
The rest of the Ad discovered a few nice points and then a few more and then some really great features and finally decided that this was one great product.
At the end of the ad, they finished with:
Beauty is only skin deep and a name doesn’t really mean that much. But we sure wish those guys at Magic Stat would have named their unit something more impressive. Maybe something like Twinkle Temp.
- Combine stories with your sales message.
- Save random articles you read online.
- Talking about the disadvantages of your product isn’t always a bad thing. (just don’t discuss fatal flaws.)
- Say unusual things.