The Politics Of Advertising

Yeah, they have a lot in common.

You need to craft a message that’s emotionally compelling, intriguing and draws people in. But you also can’t be afraid of offending some people. It’s great if a lot of people relate to your message, but a message that’s 100% anodyne and void of criticism will fall flat.

People need reasons for doing things, and if they don’t find solid reasoning in your ad, it won’t strike them very deeply.

Being competitive with another product is going to piss off your competition.

And advertising is very competitive in nature. Advertising is TRIBAL. How can you tell somebody they’re welcome unless some other people AREN’T? Drawing lines is always going to offend some person out there.

In copywriting these lines could be:

  • A certain point at which this product outperforms that product.
  • Why you’ll save money by choosing X, Y, or Z.
  • Don’t use product, or method Y, because it…….
  • You honestly don’t need…..to be a good writer, or martial artists, or mathematician, but you do need……
  • Popular method method says X. But X is 10% flawed.

And the goal is to say such things in the least offensive way, without excessively watering down your point. This is another reason why lists are segmented. You can avoid sending “writers” a message that put “writers” in the wrong light. Or “teachers.” Or “mechanics.” Each segment has associated flaws. Or disinterested subjects. Or non relevant subjects.

The ability to take any message and put it out there in a way that sounds intriguing is like having a magnetic device that sucks in attention, and prospects. Now an easy mistake is to get attention but not get prospects. You can can write good copy, but still get poor response because readers don’t see where the message with a “great point” or “unbeatable” reason asks them to avail themselves of this life changing, or threshhold busting product.

Or because they see an unbelievable deal that has nothing to add to they’re personal lifestyle. If they live on a boat, and you’re offering them the most affordable house on earth, but you don’t ship offshore residents(no sorry, they won’t want it anyway. I’m actually pretty sure….)

Good copy needs to include a call to action.

It’s not saying something to ease your mind, entertain, intrigue, or even convince. It does, but it leads you down a path that ends in buying. And it’s important that buying comes at the end of that path, once they’re momentum is already going. If it’s in the middle of the path, the reader will stop at that point, because it turns on their “being sold” sensor. Do you ever go looking for articles because you want them to convince you to buy something. No, you look for articles that solve your conundrum, question or inquiry. Once you see an article has a purpose aside from that, you chunk it, and look for another one that does you justice.

But when you see a product that’s totally in line with a solution you’re already seeking, you want to take a closer look. That in itself is a huge aspect of advertising. You want them to simply take a closer look.

And many marketers do that, but then fail to follow that initial intrigue, trigger, or thrill through to a good solution. I’ve seen so many funny commercials that I remember, but still don’t know who, or what they’re promoting.

They just left one week link in their chain, and so now money is going in the trash. Actually it’s serving someone’s purpose, but not the purpose you had in mind. It’s filling someone’s pocket. It’s not worthless, but it’s potential has already passed you up.

So an email can advertise without ever mentioning a product, or company. It can be pure entertainment, philosophy, or whatever, as long as it inspires them to click a link. And that link is directly related. It’s for “additional” information. It’s not an “offer.” It’s just the next step on the path…

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