If you really know advertising history, you know this ad.
It was run by then up-and-coming ad agency – now a global giant – Young & Rubicam in 1930, 84 years ago.
Young and Rubicam was the ad agency young David Ogilvy most admired and wanted to be like. Later, with Young & Rubicam as his model, Ogilvy became the advertiser everyone wanted to grow up to be.
Why is this ad is not better known? Maybe it has to do with political correctness. Too violent? I don’t know.
Whatever the reason, it makes a very important point that you almost never hear about in marketing:
The power of IMPACT in advertising
Impact is one of those things that can’t be measured like click-through-rate or cost-of-sale, but it’s something you should always be on the look out for as a marketer.
A lot of advertisers hope to work by repetition – the more times you see their ad, theoretically the more likely you are to respond it it.
Balderdash! (This is a polite, old fashioned way of saying “bullshit.”)
The best ads, the best promotions, and the best marketing grabs prospects by the throat (metaphorically speaking) and won’t let them go.
Ads like this aren’t just a little better than the competition, they’re exponentially better.
Here’s an example of what I mean:
Tova Borgnine Swears Under Oath That Her New Perfume Does Not Contain An Illegal Sexual Stimulant!
This is the famous headline Gary Halbert wrote that turned the launch event of a completely unknown and brand new perfume into a near riot.
Contrast this headline with every other ad for perfume you’ve ever seen in your life.
Can’t remember any? There, that proves the point.
Any prospect who has any interest in sex and attractiveness at all is going to be compelled to read the ad and, most importantly, read it now.
“Read it now”…that’s the key point because a great ad that is put aside to be read later is an ad that’s not going to make it.
There’s another benefit to headlines like this: a big part of the selling is accomplished right up front. If they buy – or are even just seriously curious – about your claim, you’re a long way to making the sale.
Contrast this with most ads and how they put people to sleep in the first 50 words.
Here’s another headline that has impact:
Internet marketing pioneer reveals the existence of a secret group of ‘Internet Masterminds’ who’ve developed a ‘golden key’ system for generating profits in days instead of weeks, months or years but there’s a catch…
Only the first 98 who apply will be permitted to attend this ultra exclusive, behind-closed-doors meeting of the Internet marketing world’s ‘secret underground’
This admittedly long headline was written in 2002.
It not only took a new business, The System Seminar, from zero to sixty in two seconds flat, it also created a whole industry (including one copycat who built a “knock off” multi-million dollar business from the last six words in the headline.)
How do you get it?
The truth is there is no simple formula which is probably why no one (but me and a small group of elite copywriters) ever teaches or even talks about it.
My method: You work at it and try different ideas until one with real impact comes to you – however long it takes.
One method which few use, but will definitely put you on the path: Write at least 100 different headlines for any ad that really matters to you.
How do you generate 100 different headlines for one product so you can come up with the golden one that has massive cash-generating IMPACT?
Short answer: work.
Long answer: Read the P.S.
P.S. If you found this at all intriguing, you might find the methods contained in my advanced copywriting and info marketing course useful.
The ability to write an ad that creates a brand new business and triggers the development of an entire industry is pretty rare, but I break it down in this course.
System Club members get this course for 50% off the list price and yes, you can join the System Club just to get the 50% discount.
– Ken McCarthy
P.S. For over 25 years I’ve been sharing the simple but powerful things that matter in business with my clients.
If you’d like direction for your business that will work today, tomorrow and twenty years from now, visit us at the System Club.