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Thursday, July 13, 2006

"Copy, in one form or other, is the heart and soul of advertising"

If you write copy that pulls response the phrase "Copy, in one form or other, is the heart and soul of advertising" really speaks deep down to the furthest reaches of your own soul. Or at least it should if you want your advertising to work.

I've quoted the phrase from an article called "Profitable Showmanship" by old-time copywriter and legendary author Kenneth M.Goode in Jo Han Mok's Copywriting Empire Blog.

I would thoroughly recommend you read the article on the Copywriting Empire Blog, not because Kenneth M. Goode is a famous copywriter, because what he says still rings true today.

One of his arguments is for you to look at the amount of white space in editorial (practically nil) whilst adverts tend to have quite a bit. So you're paying for your white space.

He also recommends that you look through a magazine you intend to advertise in. Does your eye stop and read the adverts? Obviously the answer is usually no, or not for long. So why he asks do you think that the general public would stop and read your advert?

Often I come across people who show me ads that do look good but don't actually help them sell.

For example I met up with a entrepreneur today who's advert I'd been sent. It looked good but there were several things wrong with it.

The top and bottom of the ad had some great artwork but they didn't contribute to selling the product. Some of the main issues were as follows:

  • There was no mention of the fact that the product was only going to be available until December 2006
  • Nothing about only having a limited quantity of the product available
  • Although the entrepreneur knew the product price it was given as a round figure (not very believable)
  • The product had many benefits but none of these were spelt out in the ad
  • The headline was uninteresting and wasn't attractive to the target market

It's easy for me to pick apart any advert and point out where it could be improved. But this advert had already run several times. What might it have pulled if it had been more informative and attracted people to it sooner?

A good copywriter would have found all those issues with minutes of picking up the ad.

This illustrates the hidden costs that entrepreneurs go through all the time until they start using people who understand marketing. And I truly believe in the saying: "you just don't know what you don't know."

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