Friday, April 1, 2022

Copywriting advice. From a chicken.

If you think about communication, any sort of communication, whether it's a bit of marketing, asking someone if they want to go to the movies, or getting your kid to take out the trash, it involves three things.

You should watch this video from Dave Trott if you want to learn it from the same person I learned it from. It's so simple and honest and logical, it's no wonder no one realizes how brilliant it is.

Step one is IMPACT. If no one notices your message, you've wasted your time and your money.

Step two is COMMUNICATION. What do you want to tell people?

Step three is PERSUASION. Why should they believe you?

You might have 40 years in the business, or have worked at a giant marketing company, or bought all of Seth Godin's books and heard a trillion Ted Talks, but you won't do better than my Trott-inspired summation, above.

Since I got kicked out of Ogilvy for being so old I still believed in the power of advertising, I've run probably 250 ads for my business. On average, these ads get about 20,000 views from my own LinkedIn network. I guess if I were hip, I mumble something about earned-media.

I won't say here how much money I've earned through these simple little messages. But I will say I'm making the kind of money the advertising industry no longer pays anyone but its technocrats. And I don't know what technocrats do. I'm not sure anyone does.

People stop me and say, "How do you do it?" "How do you write so many ads that are so intrusive and responsive?" "They're the best things in my feed."

I realized that some of it has to do with being a second child. Second kids have to be noisy to be noticed--especially if they're being raised by drunk, drugged and otherwise comatose parents. That's why second children often make the best ad people. We'd never get the last porkchop if we didn't learn to be aggressive.

No one taught me this. 

But I did watch a giant cartoon chicken on Saturday mornings when cartoons were aired on just about all of New York's TV stations. Foghorn Leghorn, below, just about never said anything normal. 

He was just a bird with an endocrine problem. He had to do more to get his.

So everything Foghorn did say, you perked up and listened to. Different, in short, gets noticed.

Don't take Trott's word for it.

And certainly don't listen to me.

Learn from a chicken.

Now, some lines from the great foul. Speaking of foul, some of Foghorn's remarks ain't quite politically correct in today's sanitized cesspool of a world. If you're offended, remember it's a 70-year-old animated chicken talking. He was of a period. And he was a cartoon. So unruffle your bird-hair.

She remi…, I say, she reminds me of Paul Revere’s ride, a little light in the belfry.

Hmmm, bare, I say, bare as a cooch dancer’s midriff.

That, I say, that boy’s just like a tattoo, gets under your skin.

Stop, I say, stop it boy, you’re doin’ a lot of choppin’ but no chips are flyin’.

I got, I say, I got this boy as fidgety as a bubble dancer with a slow leak.

That woman’s as cold as a nudist on an iceberg.

His muscles are as soggy as a used teabag.

Kid don’t quit talkin’ so much he’ll get his tongue sunburned.

The snow, I say, the snow’s so deep the farmers have to jack up the cows so they can milk’em.

This is going to cause more confusion than a mouse in a burlesque show.

That dog’s like taxes, he just don’t know when to stop. 

That dog, I say, that dog is lower than a snake full of buckshot.

That dog’s as subtle as a hand grenade in a barrel of oatmeal.

That boy’s about as sharp as a bowling ball.

That boy’s as timid as a canary at a cat show.

That boy’s as strong as an ox, and just about as smart.

That boy’s more mixed up than a feather in a whirlwind.

Oh, that woman got a mouth like an outboard motor.

I say that dog’s busier than a centipede at a toe countin’ contest.

Gal reminds me of a highway between Forth Worth and Dallas – no curves.

That kid’s about as sharp as a pound of wet liver.

I say it’s sure quiet around here, you could hear a caterpillar sneakin’ across a moss bed in tennis shoes

And, for you ad folks out there,
one from Mark Read, CEO of WPP. 

"We're a creative transformation company which has transformed from a business with 175,000 employees in 2013, to 98,000 employees today."

He's a little light in the belfry.

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