Copywriting secrets of the masters michael masterson - making omelets, breaking eggs and sexist ads
Copywriting Secrets of the Masters: Michael MastersonThis special report is brought to you free courtesy of www.ProCopyWritingTactics.com
"For more great free information on how to take your copywriting career to the next level please visit www.ProCopyWritingTactics.com and dont forget to collect your free Pro Copywriting Tactics Reports while youre there Making Omelets, Breaking Eggs and Sexist Ads Katie sent me some of the comments given byGolden Threadreaders of an essay I wrote on “The Most Interesting Man in the World.”The ad reminded me of David Ogilvy‟s classic advertisement campaign forHathaway Shirts. It propelled Hathaway from a local company with noreputation at all to the most recognized shirt brand in America.I said that while the Dos Equis ad was in many ways a creative knockoff, itfell short of the Ogilvy classic by failing to make the brand name itself aprominent feature of the commercial.For Ogilvy, the name of the product was critical. It was so important to himthat he put the brand name in almost all of his headlines.One reader, Christine, had this to say: “While this may have worked for amens shirt in Ogilvy‟s day this present ad "The Most Interesting Man in theWorld" is disgusting and painful to watch.She found it “offensive to women.” Besides the content (a bearded mansurrounded by beautiful women) it suggests, she said, that women don‟tdrink beer when they do.Christine says she would “go out of (her) way NOT to buy this beer.”“Some ads are just too offensive. Copying old „Mad Men‟ ads per se withouta few updates is „madness.‟ If I were this guys wife and I found this beer inthe fridge, I would throw it out! Lets get 21st century.”
I think it‟s interesting that Christine imagines herself married to “this guy.” Isit possible that the most interesting man in the world got her pulse racing,even though she objects to his image?That‟s the thing about edgy advertising. It offends as many people as itattracts. But does that mean it shouldn‟t be done?It reminds me of the scene from Howard Stern‟s movie, “Private Parts”. PigVomit, the network executive who has been trying to get Stern fired, findsout that the ratings for his show have shot sky high, despite his puerile,offensive-to-some humor.“Howard‟s fans,” he is told, “listen to him for two and a half hours.”“Well what about all the people who hate him?” he asks.The researcher looks at his notes, “People who hate him listen to him for fivehours.”There is no question that if you want to grab attention, being outrageous isan effective tactic. But the question still needs to be asked: How far shouldyou be willing to go to sell your product?What boundaries, if any, should you be willing to cross? Is it okay to besexist if it sells more beer?Moral issues aside, the criterion for making such a decision has to be theadvertisement‟s effect on sales. Looks like Dos Equis made the rightdecision:According to Dos Equis brand manager Ryan V. Thompson, since Dos Equisintroduced The Most Interesting Man in the World in 2006, sales have shotup significantly every year, leaping 26% since January alone. He recentlytold Austin Carr of FastCompany.com. "Were now the fastest growing beerimport in the country.”To create breakthrough-advertising campaigns you must be willing to breakthrough convention. You have to be willing to offend some people so long asthe increase in sales that you stimulate is greater than any loss of businessyou get from the offense.
It‟s not that you want to offend anyone. You don‟t. But you recognize that ina world as diverse and opinionated as ours is, some breakthrough ads willoffend.Elsewhere I have explained that the two greatest vices of a marketer arelaziness and egotism. And the two greatest virtues are empathy andcourage.You must be empathetic enough to understand what your core customersthink and feel and believe (their Core Complex). And, then you must havethe courage to use that empathy to create an ad that tells them youunderstand.That, in my view, is what the Dos Equis commercial does. It “gets” guys.And it has the courage to tap into what motivates them most of the time.It‟s not sex, by the way. And it‟s not the objectification of women. It‟s muchmore about a man‟s relationship with other men. Thus, the most interestingman in the world.It reminds me very much of the new viral marketing campaign to sell OldSpice. In that, ex-football player Isaiah Mustafa stands topless, showing offhis six-pack, promising women “he‟s the man your man could smell like.”Last time I checked the original ad had attracted 13 million hits.Christine‟s mistake, if I can judge from her short message, was that she lether own feelings and thoughts and beliefs (her own core complex) interferewith her ability to see this ad for what it is.It‟s no more sexist than the Old Spice campaign. It‟s clever. It‟s compelling.And it‟s full of self-referential humor.If Christine thinks this ad is offensive, what must she think of the blue-jeansads that Calvin Klein introduced in 1980. Older readers will remember the15-year-old Brooke Shields telling the world that “nothing comes betweenme and my Calvins.” People were offended by the millions. But the campaignnot only put Calvin Klein on top of the heap, but also virtually created themultibillion-dollar designer jeans market.There is something else that needs to be understood about this ad. It notreally about attracting women per se, but about becoming more interestingthan other men. Men are very competitive. And in the world of wooing
women, their desire to compete is at its evolutionary height. The liminal*promise of the ad is a competitive one: to be more interesting than othermen. Yes, the payoff is being surrounded by beautiful women. But the realissue is other men.Marketers of women‟s clothing sometimes make the same mistake. Theyincorrectly believe women dress to impress or entice men, when in fact theydress to impress and entice other women.The point I‟m getting to is this: if you are empathetic enough to reallyunderstand what motivates your core customers at a very basic level, thenyou will be able to create outrageous, breakthrough ads that work.Ask yourself: what is it that my customer really wants?And don‟t be satisfied with the first or second answer that pops in your head.Spend some time thinking or talking about his core emotions. Figure outwhat he desires, what he thinks and what he believes.And finally, don‟t forget about the product. It‟s great to get the attention youwant but you don‟t want to forget the product.Here are some other comments on the essay: “Excellent. Michael Masterson is spot on about the Dos Equis ads. I love the ad but am always left wanting to know what the product is. I had to actually force myself to concentrate on the commercial so I could know what the product is. Further I enjoyed the Golden Thread example. Ive been struggling with that in my writing but with this concise example I now fully understand the Golden Thread.”– Shawn Maus “Excellent. Inspiring and great information!! I will read this article a dozen times and when I get home. I will pull out my AWAI books and start changing my career… with results this time!”– E.Oneill “Excellent. WOW I love those Commercials so that was number one when I saw "SAW" the "GUY" I was compelled to read on and now I understand some more about this business I love but never knew how much until this article.”– Dan Slaughter Jr “Excellent. Great article Michael. Makes perfect sense and a very interesting insight into David Ogilvy as well!”– Gus G.
“Excellent. What a gift… Thank you Michael!!! There is so much marketing wisdom in this simple article… Thank you for sharing so generously.”– Laurie Attwood “Excellent. Very Interesting and informative. Also reminiscent of Commander Whiteheads beard. ”– Mike Rodriguez “Excellent. What a wonderful and insightful piece! You have written this piece like a good painter that paint work of art you are the masters. The sequence from thought to purchase and how to influence elegantly if there is such a word.”– Avihu KiselsteinYOU‟RE INVITED to continue this discussion with Michael at this year‟s FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair.Anything else you want to talk to him about? You‟ll have plenty ofopportunities during the 3-day event. Plus, you‟ll have access to Bob Bly,John Forde, Ted Nicholas, Bill Bonner and the dozen other mastercopywriters and marketers who will be there… ready and eager to sharetheir experiences and strategies with you.*Ed Note: In case you‟re curious about the meaning of the word “liminal”, itmeans just at the edge of consciousness. It‟s not to be confused with“subliminal,” which means just below the threshold of consciousness. This article was originally published as part of The Golden ThreadMICHAEL MASTERSON – There is no one more qualified and experiencedthan copywriter, entrepreneur, and business-builder Michael Masterson toteach you the art, craft, and business of copywriting.Michael started his first business – a fifth-grade publishing venture – at age11.After finishing grad school at the University of Michigan in 1975, he spenttwo years in the Peace Corps, where he began his writing career.Several years later he was working as a writer for a small newsletterpublishing company in Washington D.C. Then, in 1982, he learned the art ofcopywriting and launched the first of dozens of successful direct-marketingventures, many of which have become multi-million dollar companies.
All told, he‟s been directly involved in the generation of over ONE BILLIONDOLLARS of sales through the mail and online.He‟s also a highly successful author. He‟s published more than a dozenbooks, including several which have become Wall Street Journal,Amazon.com or New York Times bestsellers.Today, Michael consults mainly for newsletter publishing giant Agora, Inc.,and writes regularly for Early To Rise, one of the most popular self-improvement newsletters on the Internet, and for The Golden Thread,AWAI‟s weekly copywriting newsletter.But there‟s more to Michael Masterson than just his writing and businessskills.Michael also has a knack for taking just about anyone with a burning desireto upgrade his lifestyle – no matter what his background or education – andtransforming him (or her) into a top-notch copywriter: He‟s the one responsible for transforming Paul Hollingshead from a 35- year-old minimum-wage grocery store stock boy into a copywriter earning upward of $300,000 a year … and Don Mahoney from a woodworker to a $300,000-a-year copywriter living in Miami Beach … He‟s mentored other copywriters who have gone on to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in sales each year through their copy … He‟s shown people in their 50s and 60s – people preparing for retirement – how to successfully change careers and become well-paid freelance copywriters … He‟s taken young people fresh out of college – with no “life experience” at all – and turned them into top-notch copywriters and newsletter journalists … He‟s taught housewives, bartenders, and laborers to excel … He‟s even helped “professionals” – doctors and college professors – leave successful careers to enjoy the big money and stress-free lifestyle copywriting offers Discover how Michael can do the same for you with his AWAI Accelerated Program For Six Figure Copywriting. Michael Masterson
"For more great free information on how to take your copywriting career to the next level please visit www.ProCopyWritingTactics.comand dont forget to collect your free Pro Copywriting Tactics Reports