Scientific Advertising                     By Claude C HopkinsChapter 01 – How advertising laws are established __________...
Chapter 1                          The larger agencies also come into intimate   How advertising laws are established     ...
plies that are valuable. So our final conclu-        bour; not a buoy showed a reef. The wreckssions are always based on c...
Our hope is to foster advertising through abetter understanding. To place it on a busi-ness basis. To have it recognised a...
Chapter 2                        reveal the hook. Any studied attempt to sell,              Just salesmanship             ...
Some advocate large type and big head-             Some advertising men go out in person andlines. Yet they do not admire ...
Chapter 3                      with a half-pound of coffee and says, "Ac-                Offer service                    ...
Chapter 4                        ued, you know that it pays. It is therefore  Mail order advertising - what it teaches    ...
The size is gauged by their importance. The           But this occurs only when the larger spacepicture of a dress one is ...
We can at least know what we pay. Wecan make keyed comparisons, one ad withanother. Whenever we do, we invariably findthat...
Chapter 5                       city. That article would be of intense interest                  Headlines                ...
differs tremendously in its returns. It is not   Sportiest of Sport Bodies," might out pull theuncommon for a change in he...
Chapter 6                           Many articles are sold under guarantee - so                  Psychology               ...
letter to the effect that he had a leather-             The other gained added respect for his ar-covered book with a mans...
fering long-time credit often seems like a re-flection.   But when a married woman bought gar-ments from Mrs _, and paid a...
Chapter 7                       been reduced 25 per cent" he gets the full                Being specific                  ...
78-second shave. That was definite. It indi-cated actual tests. That man at once made asensational advance in his sales.  ...
Chapter 8                       turns. So with some general ads. They are             Tell your full story                ...
His inclination was towards a RollsRoyce. He also considered a Pierce-Arrow, aLocomobile and others. But these famouscars ...
Chapter 9                         So with correspondence schools. Theirs is              Art in advertising               ...
effective. They awake curiosity. No figure         The general rule applies. Do nothing todrawing in that case compares in...
Chapter 10                       children it has age-old fame. Doctors have              Things too costly                ...
Customers might cost $1.50 each. And the           this subject. We do not the percentage ofrevenue per customer might not...
Chapter 11                         A $25,000-a-year man, before advertising                Information                    ...
Thus a very large volume of data usuallyprecedes an advertising campaign. Even anexperimental campaign, for effective expe...
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
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Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins

  1. 1. Scientific Advertising By Claude C HopkinsChapter 01 – How advertising laws are established ________________ Page 01Chapter 02 – Just salesmanship ________________________________ Page 04Chapter 03 – Offer service ____________________________________ Page 06Chapter 04 – Mail order advertising – what it teaches _____________ Page 07Chapter 05 – Headlines _______________________________________ Page 10Chapter 06 – Psychology ______________________________________ Page 12Chapter 07 – Being specific ___________________________________ Page 15Chapter 08 – Tell your full story _______________________________ Page 16Chapter 09 – Art in advertising ________________________________ Page 19Chapter 10 – Things to costly __________________________________ Page 21Chapter 11 – Information _____________________________________ Page 23Chapter 12 – Strategy ________________________________________ Page 25Chapter 13 – Use of samples ___________________________________ Page 27Chapter 14 – Getting distribution ______________________________ Page 30Chapter 15 – Test campaigns __________________________________ Page 32Chapter 16 – Leaning on dealers _______________________________ Page 34Chapter 17 – Individuality ____________________________________ Page 35Chapter 18 – Negative advertising ______________________________ Page 36Chapter 19 – Letter writing ___________________________________ Page 37Chapter 20 – A name that helps ________________________________ Page 39Chapter 21 – Good business ___________________________________ Page 40
  2. 2. Chapter 1 The larger agencies also come into intimate How advertising laws are established contact with experts in every department of business. Their clients are usually dominatingThe time has come when advertising has in concerns. So they see the results of countlesssome hands reached the status of a science. It methods and policies. They become a clear-is based on fixed principles and is reasonably inghouse for every thing pertaining to mer-exact. The causes and effects have been ana- chandising. Nearly every selling question,lysed until they are well understood. The cor- which arises in business, is accurately an-rect method of procedure have been proved swered by many experiences.and established. We know what is most ef- Under these conditions, where they longfective, and we act on basic law. exist, advertising and merchandising become Advertising, once a gamble, has thus be- exact sciences. Every course is charted. Thecome, under able direction, one of the safest compass of accurate knowledge directs thebusiness ventures. Certainly no other enter- shortest, safest, cheapest course to any desti-prise with comparable possibilities need in- nation.volve so little risk. We learn the principles and prove them by Therefore this book deals, not with theo- repeated tests. This is done through keyedries and opinions, but with well-proved prin- advertising, by traced returns, largely by theciples and facts. It is written as a textbook for use of coupons. We compare one way withstudents and a safe guide for advertisers. many others, backward and forward, and rec-Every statement has been weighed. The book ord the results. When one method invariablyis confined to establish fundamentals. If we proves best, that method becomes a fixedenter any realms of uncertainty we shall care- principle.fully denote them. Mail order advertising is traced down to The present status of advertising is due to the fraction of a penny. The cost per replymany reasons. Much national advertising has and cost per dollar of sale show up with utterlong been handled by large organisations exactness.known as advertising agencies. Some of these One ad compared to another, one methodagencies, in their hundreds of campaigns, with another. Headlines, settings, sizes, ar-have tested and compared the thousands of guments and pictures are compared. To re-plans and ideas. The results have been duce the cost of results even one per centwatched and recorded, so no lessons have means much in some mail order advertising.been lost. So no guesswork is permitted. One must Such agencies employ a high grade of tal- know what is best. Thus mail order advertis-ent. None but able and experienced men can ing first established many of our basic the requirements in national advertising. In lines where direct returns are impossi-Working in co-operation, learning from each ble we compare one town with another.other and from each new undertaking, some Scores of methods may be compared in thisof these men develop into masters. way, measured by cost of sales. Individuals may come and go, but they But the most common way is by use of theleave their records and ideas behind them. coupon. We offer a sample, a book, a freeThese become a part of the organisations package, or something to induce direct re-equipment, and a guide to all who follow. plies. Thus we learn the amount of actionThus, in the course of decades, such agencies which each ad engenders.become storehouses of advertising experi- But those figures are not final. One ad mayences, proved principles, and methods. bring too many worthless replies, another re- 1
  3. 3. plies that are valuable. So our final conclu- bour; not a buoy showed a reef. The wreckssions are always based on cost per customer were unrecorded, so countless ventures cameor cost per dollar of sale. to grief on the same rocks and shoals. These coupon plans are dealt with further Advertising was then a gamble - a specu-in the chapter on "Test Campaigns." Here we lation of the rashest sort. One mans guess onexplain only how we employ them to dis- the proper course was as likely to be as goodcover advertising principles. as anothers. There were no safe pilots, be- cause few sailed the same course twice. In a large agency coupon returns arewatched and recorded on hundreds of differ- The condition has been corrected. Nowent lines. In a single line they are sometimes the only uncertainties pertain to people and torecorded on thousands of separate ads. Thus products, not to methods. It is hard to meas-we test everything pertaining to advertising. ure human idiosyncrasies, the preferencesWe answer nearly every possible question by and prejudices, the likes and dislikes that ex-multitudinous traced returns. ist. We cannot say that an article will be popular, but we know how to sell it in the Some things we learn in this way apply most effective way.only to particular lines. But even those sup-ply basic principles for analogous undertak- Ventures may fail, but the failures are notings. disasters. Losses, when they occur, are but trifling, and the causes are factors, which has Others apply to all lines. They become nothing to do with the advertising.fundamentals for advertising in general. Theyare universally applied. No wise advertiser Advertising has flourished under thesewill ever depart from those unvarying laws. new conditions. It has multiplied in volume, in prestige and respect. The perils have in- We propose in this book to deal with those creased many folds. Just because the gamblefundamentals, those universal principles. To has become a science, the speculation is stillteach only established techniques. There is a very conservative business.that technique in advertising, as in all art, sci-ence and mechanics. And it is, as in all lines, These facts should be recognised by all.a basic essential. This is no proper field for sophistry or theory, or for any other will-o-the-wisp. The blind The lack of those fundamentals has been leading the blind is ridiculous. It is pitiful in athe main trouble with advertising of the past. field with such vast possibilities. Success is aEach worker was a law to himself. All previ- rarity, and maximum success an impossibil-ous knowledge, all progress in the line, was a ity, unless one is guided by laws as immuta-closed book to him. It was like a man trying ble as the law of build a modern locomotive without firstascertaining what others had done. It was like So our main purpose here is to set downa Columbus starting out to find an undiscov- those laws, and to tell you how to prove themered land. for yourself. After them come myriad varia- tions. No two advertising campaigns are ever Men were guided by whims and fancies - conducted on lines that are identical. Indi-vagrant, changing breezes. They rarely ar- viduality is an essential. Imitation is a re-rived at their port. When they did - by acci- proach. But those variable things, which de-dent - it was by a long roundabout course. pend on ingenuity, have no place in a text- book on advertising. This is for groundwork Each early mariner in this sea mapped his only.own separate course. There were no charts toguide him. Not a lighthouse marked a har- 2
  4. 4. Our hope is to foster advertising through abetter understanding. To place it on a busi-ness basis. To have it recognised as amongthe safest, surest ventures, which lead to largereturns. Thousands of conspicuous successes showits possibilities. Their variety points out itsalmost unlimited scope. Yet thousands whoneed it - who can never attain their desertswithout it - still look upon its accomplish-ments as somewhat accidental. That was so, but it is not so now. We hopethat this book will throw some new lights onthe subject. 3
  5. 5. Chapter 2 reveal the hook. Any studied attempt to sell, Just salesmanship if apparent, creates corresponding resistance. That is so in personal salesmanship as inTo properly understand advertising or to salesmanship-in-print. Fine talkers are rarelylearn even its rudiments one must start with good salesmen. They inspire buyers with thethe right conception. Advertising is sales- fear of over-influence. They create the suspi-manship. Its principles are the principles of cion that an effort is made to sell them onsalesmanship. Successes and failures in both other lines than merit.lines are due to like causes. Thus every ad-vertising question should be answered by the Successful salesmen are rarely goodsalesmans standards. speechmakers. They have few oratorical graces. They are plain and sincere men who Let us emphasise that point. The only pur- know their customers and know their lines.pose if advertising is to make sales. It is So it is in ad writing.profitable or unprofitable according to itsactual sales. Many of the ablest men in advertising are graduate salesmen. The best we know have It is not for general effect. It is not to keep been house-to-house canvassers. They mayyour name before the people. It is not pri- know little of grammar, nothing of rhetoric,marily to aid your other salesmen. but they know how to use words that con- Treat it as a salesman. Force it to justify vince.itself. Compare it with other salesmen. Figure There is one simple way to answer manyits cost and result. Accept no excuses which advertising questions. Ask yourself, "Wouldgood salesmen do not make. Then you will it help a salesman sell the goods?" "Would itnot go far wrong. help me sell them if I met a buyer in person?" The difference is only in degree. Adver- A fair answer to those questions avoidstising is multiplied salesmanship. It may ap- countless mistakes. But when one tries topeal to thousands while the salesman talks to show off, or does things merely to pleaseone. It involves a corresponding cost. Some oneself, one is unlikely to strike a chord,people spend $10 per word on an average which leads people to spend money.advertisement. Therefore every ad should bea super - salesman. Some argue for slogans, some like clever concepts. Would you use them in personal A salesmans mistake may cost little. An salesmanship? Can you imagine a customeradvertisers mistake may cost a thousand whom such things would impress? If not,times that much. So be more cautious, more dont rely on them for selling in print.exacting. Some say, "Be very brief. People will read A mediocre salesman may affect a small for little." Would you say that to a salesman?part of your trade. Mediocre advertising af- With a prospect standing before him, wouldfects all of your trade. you confine him to any certain number of Many think of advertising as ad writing. words? That would be an unthinkable handi-Literary qualifications have no more to do cap.with it than oratory has with salesmanship. So in advertising. The only readers we get One must be able to express himself are people whom our subject interests. Nobriefly, clearly and convincingly, just as a one reads ads for amusement, long or short.salesman must. But fine writing is a distinct Consider them as prospects standing beforedisadvantage. So is unique literary style. you, seeking for information. Give themThey take attention from the subject. They enough to get action. 4
  6. 6. Some advocate large type and big head- Some advertising men go out in person andlines. Yet they do not admire salesmen who sell to people before they plan to write an in loud voices. People read all they care One of the ablest of them has spent weeks onto read in 8-point type. Our magazines and one article, selling from house to house. Innewspapers are printed in that type. Folks are this way they learn the reactions from differ-accustomed to it. Anything larger is like loud ent forms of argument and approach. Theyconversation. It gains no worth while atten- learn what possible buyers want and the fac-tion. It may not be offensive, but it is useless tors, which dont appeal. It is quite custom-and wasteful. It multiplies the cost of your ary to interview hundreds of possible cus-story. And to many it seems loud and blatant. tomers. Others look for something queer and un- Others send out questionnaires to learn theusual. They want ads distinctive in style or attitude of the buyers. In some way all mustillustration. Would you want that in a sales- learn how to strike responsive Do not men who act and dress in nor- Guesswork is very expensive.mal ways make a far better impression? The maker of an advertised article knows Some insist in dressy ads. That is all right the manufacturing side and probably theto a certain degree, but is quite important. dealers side. But this very knowledge oftenSome poorly dressed men prove to be excel- leads him astray in respect to customers. Hislent salesmen. Over dress in either is a fault. interests are not in their interests. So with countless questions. Measure The advertising man studies the consumer.them by salesmens standards, not by amuse- He tries to place himself in the position of thement standards. Ads are not written to enter- buyer. His success largely depends on doingtain. When they do, those entertainment that to the exclusion of everything else.seekers are little likely to be the people This book will contain no more importantwhom you want. chapter than this one on salesmanship. The That is one of the greatest advertising reason for most of the non-successes in ad-faults. Ad writers abandon their parts. They vertising is trying to sell people what they doforget they are salesmen and try to be per- not want. But next to that comes lack of trueformers. Instead of sales, they seek applause. salesmanship. When you plan or prepare an advertise- Some ads are planned and written with ament, keep before you a typical buyer. Your totally wrong conception. They are written tosubject, your headline has gained his or her please the seller. The interests of the buyerattention. Then in everything be guided by are forgotten. One can never sell goods prof-what you would do if you met the buyer face- itable, in person or in print, when that attitudeto-face. If you are a normal man and a good exists.salesman you will then do your level best. Dont think of people in the mass. Thatgives you a blurred view. Think of a typicalindividual, man or women, who is likely towant what you sell. Dont try to be amusing.Money spending is a serious matter. Dontboast, for all people resent it. Dont try toshow off. Do just what you think a goodsalesman should do with a half-sold personbefore him. 5
  7. 7. Chapter 3 with a half-pound of coffee and says, "Ac- Offer service cept this package and try it. Ill come back in a few days to ask you how you liked it."Remember the people you address are self- Even when he comes back he doesnt askish, as we all are. The care nothing about for an order. He explains that he wants toyour interests or your profit. They seek serv- send the women a fine kitchen utensil. It isntice for themselves. Ignoring this fact is a free, but if she likes the coffee he will creditcommon mistake and a costly mistake in ad- five cents on each pound she buys until shevertising. Ads say in effect, "Buy my brand. has paid for the article. Always some service.Give me the trade you give to others. Let mehave the money." That is not a popular ap- The maker of the electric sewing machinepeal. motor found advertising difficult. So, on good advice, he ceased soliciting a purchase. The best ads ask no one to buy. That is He offered to send to any home, through anyuseless. Often they do not quote a price. They dealer, a motor for one weeks use. With itdo not say that dealers handle the product. would come a man to show her how to oper- The ads are based entirely on service. ate it. "Let us help you for a week withoutThey offer wanted information. They site ad- cost or obligation," said the ad. Such an offervantages to users. Perhaps they offer a sam- was resistless and about nine in ten of the tri-ple, or to buy the first package, or to send als led to sales.something on approval, so the customer may So in many, many lines. Cigar makersprove the claims without any cost or risks. send out boxes to anyone and say, "Smoke Some of these ads seem altruistic. But ten, then keep them or return them, as youthey are based on the knowledge of human wish."nature. The writers know how people are led Makers of books, typewriters, washingto buy. machines, kitchen cabinets, vacuum sweep- Here again is salesmanship. The good ers, etc, send out their products without anysalesman does not merely cry a name. He prepayment. They say, "Use them a week,doesnt say, "Buy my article." He pictures then do as you wish." Practically all mer-the customers side of his service until the chandise sold by mail is sent subject to re-natural result is to buy. turn. A brush maker has some 2,000 canvassers These are all common principles of sales-who sells brushes from house to house. He is manship. The most ignorant peddler appliesenormously successful in a line, which would them. Yet the salesman-in-print very oftenseem very difficult. And it would be for his forgets them. He talks about his interest. Hemen asked the housewives to buy. blazons a name, as though that was of im- portance. His phrase is, "Drive people to the But they dont. They go to the door and stores," and that is his attitude in everythingsay, "I was sent here to give you a brush. I he says.have samples here and I want you to takeyour choice." People can be coaxed but not driven. Whatever they do they do to please them- The housewife is all smiles and attention. selves. Many fewer mistakes would be madeIn picking out one brush she sees several she in advertising if these facts were never for-wants. She is also anxious to reciprocate the So the salesman gets an order. Another concern sells coffee etc, by wag-ons in some 500 cities. The man drops in 6
  8. 8. Chapter 4 ued, you know that it pays. It is therefore Mail order advertising - what it teaches good advertising as applied to that line. The probability is that the ad has resultedThe severest test of an advertising man is in from many traced comparisons. It is thereforeselling goods by mail. But that is a school the best advertising, not theoretical. It willfrom which he must graduate before he can not deceive you. The lessons it teaches arehope for success. Their cost and result are principles which wise men apply to all ad-immediately apparent. False theories melt vertising.away like snowflakes in the sun. The adver-tising is profitable or it is not, clearly on the Mail order advertising is always set inface of returns. Figures, which do not lie, tell small type. It is usually set in smaller typeone at once the merits of an ad. than ordinary print. That economy of space is universal. So it proves conclusively that This puts men on their mettle. All guess- larger type does not is eliminated. Every mistake is con-spicuous. One quickly loses his conceit by Remember that when you double yourlearning how often his judgment errs - often space by doubling the size of your type. Thenine times in ten. ad may still be profitable. But traced returns have proved that you are paying a double There one learns that advertising must be price for sales.done on a scientific basis to have any fairchance of success. And he learns that every In mail order advertising there is no wastewasted dollar adds to the cost of results. of space. Every line is utilised. Borders are rarely used. Remember that when you are Here is a tough efficiency and economy tempted to leave valuable space unoccupied.under a master who cant be fooled. Then,and only then, is he apt to apply the same In mail order advertising there is no pa-principles and keys to all advertising. laver. There is no boasting, save of super- service. There is no useless talk. There is no A man was selling a five-dollar article. attempt at entertainment. There is nothing toThe replies from his ad cost him 85 cents. amuse.Another man submitted an ad, which hethought better. The replies cost $14.20 each. Mail order advertising usually contains aAnother man submitted an ad, which for two coupon. That is there to get some action outyears brought replies at an average of 41 of the converts partly made. It is there to cutcents each. out as a reminder of something the reader has decided to do. Consider the difference, on 250,000 re-plies per year. Think how valuable was the Mail order advertisers know that readersman who cut the cost in two. Think what it forget. They are reading a magazine of inter-would have meant to continue that $14.20 ad est. They may be absorbed in a story. A largewithout any key on returns. percentage of people who read an ad and de- cide to act will forget that decision in five Yet there are thousands of advertisers who minutes. The mail order advertisers knowsdo just that. They spend large sums on a that waste from tests, and he does not pro-guess. And they are doing what that man did pose to accept it. So he inserts that reminder- paying for sales from 2 to 35 times what to be cut out, and it turns up when the readerthey need cost. is ready to act. A study of mail order advertising reveals In mail order advertising the pictures aremany things worth learning. It is a prime always to the point. They are salesmen insubject for study. In the first place, if contin- themselves. They earn the space they occupy. 7
  9. 9. The size is gauged by their importance. The But this occurs only when the larger spacepicture of a dress one is trying to sell may is utilised as well as the small space. Set half-occupy much space. Less important things page copy in a page space and you double theget smaller spaces. cost in returns. We have seen many a test prove that. Pictures in ordinary advertising may teachlittle. They probably result in whims. But Look at an ad of the Mead Cycle Com-pictures in mail order advertising may form pany - a typical mail order ad. These havehalf the cost of selling. And you may be sure been running for many years. The ads are un-that everything about them has been decided changing. Mr. Mead told the writer that notby many comparative tests. for $10,000 would he change a single word in his ads. Before you use useless pictures, merely todecorate or interest, look over some mail or- For many years he compared one ad withder ads. Mark what their verdict is. the other. And the ads you see today are the final results of all those experiments. Note A man advertised an incubator to be sold the picture he uses, the headlines, the econ-by mail. Type ads with right headlines omy of space, the small type. Those ads arebrought excellent returns. But he conceived as near perfect for their purpose as an ad canthe idea that a striking picture would increase be.those returns. So he increased his space 50per cent to add a row of chickens in silhou- So with any other mail order ad which hasette. long continued. Every feature, every word and picture teaches advertising at its best. It did make a striking ad, but his cost per You may not like them. You may say theyreply was increased by exactly that 50 per are unattractive, crowded, and hard to read -cent. The new ad, costing one-half more for anything you will. But the test of results hasevery insertion, brought not one added sale. proved those ads the best salesman those The man learned that incubator buyers lines have yet discovered. And they certainlywere practical people. They were looking for pay.attractive offers, not for pictures. Mail order advertising is the court of last Think of the countless untraced cam- resort. You may get the same instruction, ifpaigns where a whim of that kind costs half you will, by keying other ads. But mail orderthe advertising money without a penny in ads are models. They are selling goods prof-return. And it may go on year after year. itably in a difficult way. It is far harder to get mail order than to send buyers to the stores. It Mail order advertising tells a complete is hard to sell goods, which cant be seen.story if the purpose is to make an immediate Ads, which do that, are excellent examples ofsale. You see no limitations there on the what advertising should be.amount of copy. We cannot often follow all the principle of The motto there is, "The more you tell the mail order advertising, though we know wemore you sell." And it has never failed to should. The advertiser forces a compromise.prove out so in any test we know. Perhaps pride in our ads has an influence. But Sometimes the advertiser uses small ads, every departure from those principles adds tosometimes-large ads. None are too small to our selling cost. Therefore it is always atell a reasonable story. But an ad twice larger question of what we are willing to pay for ourbrings twice the returns. A four-times-larger brings four times the returns, and usuallysome in addition. 8
  10. 10. We can at least know what we pay. Wecan make keyed comparisons, one ad withanother. Whenever we do, we invariably findthat the nearer we get to proved mail ordercopy the more customers we get for ourmoney. This is another important chapter. Think itover. What real difference is there betweeninducing a customer to order by mail or orderfrom his dealer? Why should the methods ofsalesmanship differ? They should not! When they do, it is forone of two reasons. Either the advertiser doesnot know what the mail order advertiserknows. Or he is advertising blindly. Or he isdeliberately sacrificing a percentage of hisreturns to gratify some desire. There is some apology for that, just asthere is for fine offices and buildings. Mostof us can afford to do something for prideand opinion. But let us know what we aredoing. Let us know the cost of our pride.Then, if our advertising fails to bring us thewanted returns, let us go back to our model -a good mail order ad - and eliminate some ofour waste. 9
  11. 11. Chapter 5 city. That article would be of intense interest Headlines to that woman and her friends. But neither she nor her friends would ever read it if theThe difference between advertising and per- headline was "Egyptian Psychology."sonal salesmanship lies largely in personal So in advertising it is commonly said thatcontact. The salesman is there to demand at- people do not read advertisements. That istention. He cannot be ignored. The adver- silly of course. We who spend millions intisement can be ignored. advertising and watch the returns marvel at But the salesman wastes much of his time the readers we get. Again and again we seeon prospects whom he can never hope to in- 20 per cent of all the readers of a newspaperterest. He cannot pick them out. The adver- cut out a certain coupon.tisement is read only by interested people But people do not read ads for amuse-who, by their own volition, study what we ment. They dont read ads which, at a glance,have to say. seem to offer nothing interesting. A double- The purpose of the headline is to pick out page ad on a womens dresses will not gain apeople you can interest. You wish to talk to glance from a man. Nor will a shaving creamsomeone in a crowd, so the first thing you ad from a woman.say is, "Hey there, Bill Jones" to get the right Always bear these facts in mind. Peoplepersons attention. are hurried. The average person worth culti- The same in an advertisement, what you vating has too much to read. They skip three-have will interest certain people only and for fourths of the reading matter, which they paycertain reasons. You care only for those peo- to get. They are not going to read your busi-ple, so create a headline, which will hail ness talk unless you make it worth their whilethose people only! and let the headline show it. Perhaps a blind headline or some clever People will not be bored in print. Theyconcept will attract many times as many. But may listen politely at a dinner table to boaststhey may consist of mostly impossible sub- and personalities, life history, etc. But injects for what you have to offer. And the print they choose their own companions, theirpeople you are after may never realise that own subjects. They want to be amused orthe ad refers to something they may want. benefited. They want economy, beauty, labor saving, good things to eat and wear. There Headlines on ads are like headlines on may be products, which interest them morenews items. Nobody reads a whole newspa- than anything else in the magazine, but theyper. One is interested in financial news, one will never know it unless the headline orin political, one in society, one in cookery, picture tells in sports, etc. There are whole pages inany newspaper, which we may never scan at The writer of this chapter spends far moreall. Yet other people might turn directly to time on headlines that on writing. He oftenthose pages. spends hours on a single headline. Often scores of headlines are discarded before the We pick out what we wish to read by right one is selected. For the entire returnheadlines, and we dont want those headlines from an ad depends on attracting the rightmisleading. The writing of headlines is one sort of readers. The best of salesmanship hasof the greatest journalistic arts. They either no chance whatever unless we get a hearing.conceal or reveal an interest. The vast difference in headlines is shown Suppose a newspaper article stated that a by keyed returns, which this book advocates.certain woman was the most beautiful in the The identical ad run with various headlines 10
  12. 12. differs tremendously in its returns. It is not Sportiest of Sport Bodies," might out pull theuncommon for a change in headlines to mul- other fifty to one.tiply returns by five or ten times over. This is enough to suggest the importance So we compare headlines until we know of headlines. Anyone who keys ads will bewhat sort of appeal pays best. That differs in amazed at the difference. The appeals we likeevery line, of course. best will rarely prove best, because we do not know enough people to average up their de- The writer has before him keyed returns sires. So we learn on each line by experi-on nearly two thousand headlines used on a ment.single product. The story in these ads arenearly identical. But the returns vary enor- But back of all lies fixed principles. Youmously, due to the headlines. So with every are presenting an ad to millions. Among themkeyed return in our record appears the head- is a percentage, small or large, whom youline that we used. hope to interest. Go after that percentage and try to strike the chord that responds. If you Thus we learn what type of headline has are advertising corsets, men and childrenthe most widespread appeal. The product has dont interest you. If you are advertising ci-many uses. It fosters beauty. It prevents dis- gars, you have no use for non-smokers. Ra-ease. It aids daintiness and cleanliness. We zors wont attract women; rouge will not in-learn to exactness which quality most of our terest men.readers seek. Dont think that those millions will read That does not mean we neglect the others. your ads to find out if your product interests.One sort of appeal may bring half the returns They will decide by a glance - by your head-of another, yet be important enough to be line or your pictures. Address the people youprofitable. We overlook no field that pays, seek and them only.but we know what proportion of our adsshould, in the headline, attract any certainclass. For this same reason we employ a vastvariety of ads. If we are using twenty maga-zines we may use twenty separate ads. Thisbecause circulation’s overlap, and because aconsiderable percentage of people are at-tracted by each of several forms of approach.We wish to reach them all. On soap, for instance, the headline "KeepClean" might attract a very small percentage.It is too commonplace. So might the head-line, "No animal fat." People may not caremuch about that. The headline, "It floats"might prove interesting. But a headline refer-ring to beauty or complexion might attractmany times as many. An automobile ad might refer in the head-line to a good universal joint. It might fallflat, because so few buyers think of universaljoints. The same ad with a headline, " The 11
  13. 13. Chapter 6 Many articles are sold under guarantee - so Psychology commonly sold that guarantees have ceased to be impressive. But one concern made aThe competent advertising man must under- fortune by offering a dealers signed warrant.stand psychology. The more he knows about The dealer to whom one paid his moneyit the better. He must learn that certain effects agreed in writing to pay it back if asked. In-lead to certain reactions, and use that knowl- stead of a far-away stranger, a neighbouredge to increase results and avoid mistakes. gave the warrant. The results have led many to try that plan, and it has always proved ef- Human nature is perpetual. In most re- fective.spects it is the same today as in the time ofCaesar. So the principles of psychology are Many have advertised, "Try it for a week.fixed and enduring. You will never need to If you dont like it well return your money."unlearn what you learn about them. Then someone conceived the idea of sending goods without any money down, and saying, We learn, for instance, that curiosity is "Pay in a week if you like them." Thatone of the strongest human incentives. We proved many times as impressive.employ it whenever we can. Puffed Wheatand Puffed Rice were made successful One great advertising man stated the dif-largely trough curiosity. "Grains puffed to 8 ference this way: "Two men came to me,times the normal size." "Foods shot from each offering me a horse. Both made equalguns." "125 million steam explosions claims. They were good horses, kind andcaused in every kernel." These foods were gentle. A child could drive them. One manfailures before that factor was discovered. said, Try the horse for a week. If my claims are not true, come back for your money. The We learn that cheapness is not a strong other man also said, Try the horse for week.appeal. Americans are extravagant. They But he added, Come and pay me then. Iwant bargains but not cheapness. They want naturally bought the second mans horse."to feel that they can afford to eat and haveand wear the best. Treat them as if they could Now countless things - cigars, typewriters,not and they resent your attitude. washing machines, books, etc. - are sent out in this way on approval. And we find that We learn that people judge largely by people are honest. The losses are very small.price. They are not experts. In the BritishNational Gallery is a painting, which is an- An advertiser offered a set of books tonounced in a catalogue to have cost businessmen. The advertising was unprofit-$750,000. Most people at first pass it by at a able, so he consulted another expert. The adsglance. Then later they get farther on in the were impressive. The offer seemed attractive.catalogue and learn what the painting cost. "But," said the second man, "let us add oneThey return then and surround it. little touch which I have found effective. Let us offer to put the buyers name in gilt letter- A department store advertised at one ing on each book." That was done, and withEaster time a $100 hat, and the floor could scarcely another change in the ads they soldnot hold the women who came to see it. some hundreds of thousands of books. We often employ this factor in psychol- Through some peculiar kink in humanogy. Perhaps we are advertising a valuable psychology the names in gilt gave muchformula. To merely say that would not be added value to the books.impressive. So we state - as a fact - that wepaid $100,000 for that formula. That state- Many send out small gifts, like memoran-ment when tried has won a wealth of respect. dum books, to customers and prospects. They get very small results. One man sent out a 12
  14. 14. letter to the effect that he had a leather- The other gained added respect for his ar-covered book with a mans name on it. It was ticle by paying retail price to let the user trywaiting on him and would be sent on request. it. An article good enough for the maker toThe form of request was enclosed, and it also buy is good enough for the user to buy. It isasked for certain information. That informa- vastly different to pay 15 cents to let you trytion indicated lines on which a man might be an article that to simply say, "Its free."sold. So with sampling. Hand an unwanted Nearly all men, it was found, filled out product to a housewife and she pays it slightthat request and supplied the information. respect. She is in no mood to see its virtues.When a man knows that something belongs But get her to ask for a sample after readingto him - something with his name on - he will your story, and she is in a very different po-make an effort to get it, even though the thing sition. She knows your claims. She is inter-is a trifle. ested in them, else she would not act, and she expects to find the qualities you told. In the same way it is found that an offerlimited to a certain class of people is far more There is a great deal in mental impression.effective than a general offer. For instance, Submit five articles exactly alike and fivean offer limited to veterans of the war, or to people may choose one of them. But pointmembers of a lodge or sect, or to executives. out in one some qualities to notice and eve-Those who are entitled to any seeming ad- ryone will find them. The five people thenvantage will go a long way not to lose that will all choose the same article.advantage. If people can be made sick or well by An advertiser suffered much from sub- mental impressions, they can be made to fa-stitution. He said, "Look out for substitutes," vour a certain brand in that way. And that, on"Be sure you get this brand," etc., with no some lines, is the only way to win them.effect. Those were selfish appeals. Two concerns, side by side, sold womens Then he said, "Try our rivals too" - said clothing on installments. The appeal, ofit in his headlines. He invited comparisons course, was to poor girls who desire to dressand showed that he did not fear them. That better. One treated them like poor girls andcorrected the situation. Buyers were careful made the bare business get the brand so conspicuously superior The other put a woman in charge - athat its maker could court a trial of the rest. motherly, dignified, capable woman. They Two advertisers offered food products did business in her name. They used her pic-nearly identical. Both offered a full-size ture. She signed all ads and letters. She wrotepackage as an introduction. But one gave his to these girls like a friend. She knew herselfpackage free. The other bought the package. what it meant to a girl not to be able to dressA coupon was good at any store for a pack- her best. She had long sought a chance toage, for which the maker paid retail price. supply women good clothes and give them all season to pay. Now she was able to do so, The first advertiser failed and the second with the aid of men behind her.succeeded. The first even lost a large part ofthe trade he had. He cheapened his product There was no comparison in those twoby giving a 15-cent package away. It is hard appeals. It was not long before this womansto pay for an article, which has once been long established next-door rival had to It is like paying railroad fare after trav- The backers of this business sold houseelling on a pass. furnishings on installments. Sending out catalogues promiscuously did not pay. Of- 13
  15. 15. fering long-time credit often seems like a re-flection. But when a married woman bought gar-ments from Mrs _, and paid as agreed, theywrote to her something like this: "Mrs._,whom we know, tells us that you are one ofher good customers. She has dealt with you,she says, and you do just as you agree, so wehave opened with you a credit account on ourbooks, good any time you wish. When youwant anything in furnishings, just order it.Pay nothing in advance. We are very glad tosend it without any investigation to a personrecommended as you are. That was flattering. Naturally those peo-ple, when they wanted some furniture, wouldorder from that house. There are endless phases to psychology.Some people know them by instinct. Many ofthem are taught by experience, but we learnmost of them from others. When we see awinning method we note it down for usewhen occasion offers. These things are very important. An iden-tical offer made in a different way may bringmultiplied returns. Somewhere in the minesof business experience we must find the bestmethod somehow. 14
  16. 16. Chapter 7 been reduced 25 per cent" he gets the full Being specific value of his announcement. A mail order advertiser sold womensPlatitudes and generalities roll off the human clothing to people of the poorer classes. Forunderstanding like water from a duck. They years he used the slogan, "Lowest prices inleave no impression whatever. To say, "Best America." His rivals all copied that. Then hein the world," "Lowest price in existence," guaranteed to undersell any other dealer. Hisetc. is at best simply claiming the expected. rivals did likewise. Soon those claims be-But superlatives of that sort are usually dam- came common to every advertiser in his line,aging. They suggest looseness of expression, and they became commonplace.a tendency to exaggerate a careless truth.They lead readers to discount all the state- Then under able advice, he changed hisments that you make. statement to "Our net profit is 3 per cent." That was a definite statement and it proved People recognise a certain license in sell- very impressive. With their volume of busi-ing talk as they do poetry. A man may say, ness it was evident that their prices must be"Supreme in quality" without seeming a liar, minimum. No one could be expected to dothough one may know that the other brands business on less than 3 per cent. The nextare equally as good. One expects a salesman year their business made a sensational in-to put his best foot forward and excuses some crease.exaggeration born of enthusiasm. But just forthat reason general statements count for little. At one time in the automobile businessAnd a man inclined to superlatives must ex- there was a general impression that profitspect that his every statement will be taken were excessive. One well-advised advertiserwith some caution came out with this statement; "Our profit is 9 per cent." Then he cited actual costs on the But a man who makes a specific claim is hidden costs of a $1,500 car. They amountedeither telling the truth or a lie. People do not to $735, without including anything oneexpect an advertiser to lie. They know that he could easily see. This advertiser made a greatcant lie in the best mediums. The growing success along those lines at that time.respect in advertising has largely comethrough a growing regard for its truth. Shaving soaps have long been advertised "Abundant lather," "Does not dry on the So a definite statement is usually ac- face," "Acts quickly," etc. One advertiser hadcepted. Actual figures are not generally dis- as good a chance as the other to impresscounted. Specific facts, when stated, have those claims.their full weight and effect. Then a new maker came into the field. It This is very important to consider in was a tremendously difficult field, for everywritten or personal salesmanship. The weight customer had to be taken from someone else.of an argument may often be multiplied by He stated specific facts. He said, "Multipliesmaking it specific. Say that a tungsten lamp itself in lather 250 times" "Softens the beardgives more light than a carbon and you leave in one minute." "Maintains its creamy full-some doubt. Say it gives three and one-third ness for ten minutes on the face." "The finaltimes the light and people realise that you result of testing and comparing 130 formu-have made tests and comparisons. las." Perhaps never in advertising has there been a quicker and greater success in an A dealer may say, "Our prices have been equally difficult field.reduced" without creating any marked im-pression. But when he says, "Our prices have Makers of safety razors have long adver- tised quick shaves. One maker advertised a 15
  17. 17. 78-second shave. That was definite. It indi-cated actual tests. That man at once made asensational advance in his sales. In the old days all beers were advertisedas "Pure," The claim made no impression.The bigger the type used the bigger the folly.After millions had been spent to impress aplatitude, one brewer pictured a plate glasswhere beer was cooled in filtered air. Hepictured a filter of white wood pulp throughwhich every drop was cleared. He told howbottles were washed four times by machin-ery. How he went down 4,000 feet for purewater. How 1,018 experiments had beenmade to attain a yeast to give beer thatmatchless flavour. And how all the yeast wasforever made from that adopted mother cell. All claims were such as any brewer mighthave made. They were mere essentials in or-dinary brewing. But he was the first to tellthe people about them, while others criedmerely "pure beer." He made the greatestsuccess that was ever made in beer advertis-ing. "Used the world over" is a very elasticclaim. Then one advertiser said, "Used by thepeoples of 52 nations," and many others fol-lowed. One statement may take as much room asanother, yet a definite statement is manytimes as effective. The difference is vast. If aclaim is worth making, make it in the mostimpressive way. All these effects must be studied. Sales-manship-in-print is very expensive. A sales-mans loose talk matters little. But when youare talking to millions at enormous cost, theweight of your claims is important. No generality has any weight whatever. Itis like saying, "How do you do?" When youhave no intention of inquiring about oneshealth. But specific claims when made inprint are taken at their value. 16
  18. 18. Chapter 8 turns. So with some general ads. They are Tell your full story perfected ads, embodying in the best way known all that one has to say. Advertisers doWhatever claims you use to gain attention, not expect a second reading. Their constantthe advertisement should tell a story reasona- returns come from getting new readers.bly complete. If you watch returns, you will In every ad consider only new customers.find that certain claims appeal far more that People using your product are not going toothers. But in usual lines a number of claims read your ads. They have already read andappeal to a large percentage. Then present decided. You might advertise month afterthose claims in every ad for their effect on month to present users that the product theythat percentage. use is poison, and they would never know it. Some advertisers, for sake of brevity, pre- So never waste one line of your space to saysent one claim at a time. Or they write a se- something to present to users, unless you canrial ad, continued in another issue. There is say it in your headlines. Bear in mind alwaysno greater folly. Those serials almost never that you can address an unconverted pros-connect. pect. When you once get a persons attention, Any reader of your ad is interested; elsethen is the time to accomplish all ever hope he would not be a reader. You are dealingwith him. Bring all your good arguments to with someone willing to listen. So do yourbare. Cover every phase of your subject. One level best. That reader, if you lose him now,fact appeals to some, one to another. Omit may never again be a reader.any one and a certain percentage will lose the You are like a salesman in a busy mansfact, which might convince. office. He may have tried again and again to People are not apt to read successive ad- get entree. He may never be admitted again.vertisements on any single line. No more This is his one chance to get action, and hethan you read a news item twice, or a story. must employ it to the full.In one reading of an advertisement one de- This brings up the question of brevity. Thecides for or against a proposition. And that most common expression you hear about ad-operates against a second reading. So present vertising is that people will not read the reader, when once you get him, every Yet a vast amount of the best-paying adver-important claim you have. tising shows that people do read much. Then The best advertisers do that. They learn they write for a book, perhaps - for addedtheir appealing claims by tests - by compar- results from various headlines. Gradually There is fixed rule on this subject of brev-they accumulate a list of claims important ity. One sentence may tell a complete storyenough to use. All those claims appear in on a line like chewing gum. It may on an ar-every ad thereafter. ticle like Cream of Wheat. But, whether long The advertisements seem monotonous to or short, an advertising story should be rea-the men who read them all. A complete story sonably always the same. But one must consider A certain man desired a personal car. Hethat the average reader is only once a reader, cared little about the price. He wanted a carprobably. And what you fail to tell him in to take pride in; else he felt he would neverthat ad is something he may never know. drive it. But, being a good businessman, he Some advertisers go so far as to never wanted value for his money.change their ads. Single mail order ads oftenrun year after year without diminishing re- 17
  19. 19. His inclination was towards a RollsRoyce. He also considered a Pierce-Arrow, aLocomobile and others. But these famouscars offered no information. Their advertise-ments were very short. Evidently the makersconsidered it undignified to argue compara-tive merits. The Marmon, on the contrary, told a com-plete story. He read columns and books aboutit. So he bought a Marmon, and was neversorry. But he afterwards learned facts aboutanother car at nearly three times the price,which would have sold him the car, had heknown them. What folly it is to cry a name in a line likethat, plus a few brief generalities. A car maybe a lifetime investment. It involves an im-portant expenditure. A man interested enoughto buy a car will read a volume about it if thevolume is interesting. So with everything, you may be simplytrying to change a woman from one breakfastfood to another, or one toothpaste, or onesoap. She is wedded to what she is using.Perhaps she has used it for years. You have a hard proposition. If you do notbelieve it, go to her in person and try to makethe change. Not to merely buy a first packageto please you, but to adopt your brand. A manwho once does that at a womans door wontargue for brief advertisements. He will neveragain say, "A sentence will do," or a nameclaim or a boast. Nor will the man who traces his results.Note that brief ads are never keyed. Note thatevery traced ad tells a complete story, thoughit takes columns to tell. Never be guided in any way by ads, whichare untraced. Never do anything becausesome uninformed advertiser considers thatsomething right. Never be led in new pathsby the blind. Apply to your advertising ordi-nary common sense. Take the opinion of no-body, whom knows nothing about his returns. 18
  20. 20. Chapter 9 So with correspondence schools. Theirs is Art in advertising traced advertising. Picturing men in high po- sitions of taking upward steps forms a veryPictures in advertising are very expensive. convincing argument.Not in cost of good art work alone, but in the So with beauty articles. Picturing beautifulcost of space. From one-third to one-half of women, admired and attractive, is a supremean advertising campaign is often staked on inducement. But there is a great advantage inthe power of the pictures. including a fascinated man. Women desire Anything expensive must be effective; beauty largely because of men. Then showelse it involves much waste. So art in adver- them using their beauty, as women do use it,tising is a study of paramount importance. to gain maximum effect. Pictures should not be used merely be- Advertising pictures should not be eccen-cause they are interesting, or to attract atten- tric. Dont treat your subject lightly. Donttion, or to decorate an ad. We have covered lessen respect for yourself or your article bythese points elsewhere. Ads are not written to any attempt at frivolity. People do not pa-interest, please or amuse. You are not writing tronise a clown. There are two things aboutto please the hoi- polloi. You are writing on a which men should not joke. One is business,serious subject - the subject of money the other is home.spending. And you address a restricted mi- An eccentric picture may do you seriousnority. damage. One may gain attention by wearing Use pictures only to attract those who may a fools cap. But he would ruin his sellingprofit you. Use them only when they form a prospects.better selling argument than the same amount Then a picture, which is eccentric orof space set in type. unique, takes attention from your subject. Mail order advertisers, as we have said, You cannot afford to do that. Your main ap-have pictures down to a science. Some use peal lies in headline. Over-shadow that andlarge pictures, some small, some omit pic- you kill it. Dont, to gain general and uselesstures entirely. A noticeable fact is that none attention, sacrifice the attention that youof them uses expensive artwork. Be sure that want.all these things are done for reasons madeapparent by results. Dont be like a salesman who wears con- spicuous clothes. The small percentage he Any other advertiser should apply the appeals to are not usually good buyers. Thesame principles. Or, if none exist to apply to great majority of the sane and thrifty heartilyhis line, he should work out his own by tests. despite him. Be normal in everything you doIt is certainly unwise to spend large sums on when you are seeking confidence and con-a dubious adventure. viction. Pictures in many lines form a major fac- Generalities cannot be applied to art.tor. Omitting the lines where the article itself There are seeming exceptions to most state-should be pictured. In some lines, like Arrow ments. Each line must be studied by itself.Collars and most in clothing advertising,pictures have proved most convincing. Not But the picture must help sell the goods. Itonly in picturing the collar or the clothes, but should help more than anything else could doalso in picturing men whom others envy, in in like space, else use that something else.surroundings which others covet. The pic- Many pictures tell a story better than typetures subtly suggest that these articles of ap- can do. In advertising of Puffed Grains theparel will aid men to those desired positions. picture of the grains were found to be most 19
  21. 21. effective. They awake curiosity. No figure The general rule applies. Do nothing todrawing in that case compares in results with merely interest, amuse, or attract. That is notthese grains. your province. Do only that which wins the people you are after in the cheapest possible Other pictures form a total loss. We have way.cited cases of that kind. The only way toknow, as is with most other questions, is by But these are minor questions. They arecompared results. mere economies, not largely affecting the re- sults of a campaign. There are disputed questions in artwork,which we will cite without expressing opin- Some things you do may cut all your re-ions. They seem to be answered both ways, sults in two. Other things can be done whichaccording to the line, which is advertised. multiply those results. Minor costs are insig- nificant when compared with basic princi- Does it pay better to use fine art work or ples. One man may do business in a shed,ordinary? Some advertisers pay up to $2,000 another in a palace. That is immaterial. Theper drawing. They figure that the space is ex- great question is ones power to get thepensive. The art cost is small in comparison. maximum results.So they consider the best worth its cost. Others argue that few people have arteducation. They bring out their ideas, andbring them out well, at a fraction of the cost.Mail order advertisers are generally in thisclass. The question is one of small moment.Certainly good art pays as well as mediocre.And the cost of preparing ads is very smallcompared with the cost of insertion. Should every ad have a new picture? Ormay a picture be repeated? Both viewpointshave many supporters. The probability is thatrepetition is an economy. We are after newcustomers always. It is not probable that theyremember a picture we have used before. Ifthey do, repetition does not detract. Do colour pictures pay better than blackand white? Not generally, according to theevidence we have gathered to date. Yet thereare exceptions. Certain food dishes look farbetter in colours. Tests on lines like oranges,and desserts etc. show that colour pays. Col-our comes close to placing the products onactual exhibition. But colour used to amuse or to gain atten-tion is like anything else that we use for thatpurpose. It may attract many times as manypeople, yet not secure a hearing from asmany whom we want. 20
  22. 22. Chapter 10 children it has age-old fame. Doctors have Things too costly advised it for many generations. People who dont serve oatmeal are therefore difficult toMany things are possible in advertising start. Perhaps their objections are insur-which are too costly to attempt. That is an- mountable. Anyway, the cost proved to beother reason why every project and method beyond all possible return.should be weighed and determined by a There are many advertisers who knowknown scale of cost and result. facts like these and concede them. They Changing peoples habits is very expen- would not think of devoting a whole cam-sive. A project, which involves that, must be paign to any such impossible object. Yet theyseriously considered. To sell shaving soap to devote a share of their space to that object.the peasants of Russia one would first need to That is only the same folly on a smaller scale.change their beard wearing habits. The cost It is not good business.would be excessive, Yet countless advertisers No one orange grower or raisin growertry to do things almost as impossible. Just could attempt to increase the consumption ofbecause questions are not ably considered, those fruits. The cost might be a thousandand results are traced but unknown. times his share of the returns. But thousands For instance, the advertiser of a dentifrice of growers combined have done it on thosemay spend much space and money to educate and many other lines. There lies one of thepeople to brush their teeth. Test, which we great possibilities of advertising develop-know of, have indicated that the cost of such ment. The general consumption of scores ofconverts may run from $20 to $25 each. Not foods can be profitably increased. But it mustonly because of the difficulty, but because be done on wide co-operation.much of the advertising goes to people al- No advertiser could afford to educate peo-ready converted. ple on vitamins or germicides. Such things Such a cost, of course, is unthinkable. One are done by authorities, through countlessmight not in a lifetime get it back in sales. columns of unpaid-for space. But great suc-The maker who learned these facts by tests cesses have been made by going to peoplemake no attempt to educate people to the already educated and satisfying their createdtooth brush habit. What cannot be done on a wants.large scale profitably can not be done on a It is a very shrewd thing to watch the de-small scale. So not one line in any ad is de- velopment of a popular trend, the creation ofvoted to this object. This maker, who is con- new desires. Then at the right time offer tostantly guided in everything by keying every satisfy those desires. That was done onad, has made remarkable success. yeast’s, for instance, and on numerous anti- Another dentifrice maker spends much septics. It can every year be done on newmoney to make converts to the toothbrush. things which some popular fashion or wide-The object is commendable, but altruistic. spread influence is bring into vogue. But it isThe new business he creates is shared by his a very different thing to create that fashion,rivals. He is wondering why his sales in- taste or influence for all in your field tocrease is in no way commensurate with his share.expenditure. There are somethings we know of which An advertiser at one time spent much might possibly be sold to half the homes inmoney to educate people to the use of oat- the country. A Dakin-fluid germicide, for in-meal. The results were too small to discover. stance. But the consumption would be veryAll people know of oatmeal. As a food for small. A small bottle might last for years. 21
  23. 23. Customers might cost $1.50 each. And the this subject. We do not the percentage ofrevenue per customer might not in ten years people who suffer from asthma. A canvassrepay the cost of getting. Mail order sales on might show it to be one in a hundred. If so,single articles, however popular, rarely cost he would need to cover a hundred uselessless than $2.50 each. It is reasonable to sup- readers to reach one he wants. His cost ofpose that sales made through dealers on like result might be twenty times as high as onarticles will cost approximately as much. another article, which appeals to one in five.Those facts must be considered on any one- That excessive cost would probably meansale article. Possibly one user will win others. disaster. For reasons like these every newBut traced returns as in mail order advertising advertiser should seek for wise advice. Nowould prohibit much advertising, which is one with the interests of advertising at heartnow being done. will advise any dubious venture. Costly mistakes are made by blindly fol- Some claims not popular enough to fea-lowing some ill-conceived idea. An article, ture in the main are still popular enough tofor instance, may have many uses, one of consider. They influence a certain number ofwhich is to prevent disease. Prevention is not people - say one-fourth of your possible cus-a popular subject, however much it should tomers. Such claims may be featured to ad-be. People will do much to cure trouble, but vantage in a certain percentage of headlines.people in general will do little to prevent it. It should probably be included in every ad-This has been proved by many disappoint- vertisement. But those are not things to guessments. at. They should be decided by actual knowl- edge, usually by traced returns. One may spend much money in arguingprevention when the same money spent on This chapter, like every chapter, points outanother claim would bring many times the a very important reason for knowing yoursales. A heading, which asserts one claim, results. Scientific advertising is impossiblemay bring ten times the results of a heading, without that. So is safe advertising. So iswhich asserted another. An advertiser may go maximum profit.far astray unless he finds out. Groping in the dark in this field has A toothpaste may tend to prevent decay. It probably cost enough money to pay the na-may also beautify teeth. Tests will probably tional debt. That is what has filled the adver-show that the latter appeal is many times as tising graveyards. That is what has discour-strong as the former. The most successful aged thousands who could profit in this field.toothpaste advertiser never features tooth And the dawn of knowledge is what istroubles in his headlines. Tests have proved bringing a new day in the advertising busi-them unappealing. Other advertisers in this nessline center on those troubles. That is oftenbecause results are not known and compared. A soap may tend to cure eczema. It may atthe same time improve complexion. The ec-zema claim may appeal to one in a hundredwhile the beauty claims would appeal tonearly all. To even mention the eczemaclaims might destroy the beauty claims. A man has a relief for asthma. It has doneso much for him he considers it a great ad-vertising possibility. We have no statistics on 22
  24. 24. Chapter 11 A $25,000-a-year man, before advertising Information outfits for acetylene gas, spent weeks in go- ing from farm to farm. Another man did thatAn ad-writer, to have a chance at success, on a tractor.must gain full information on his subject. Before advertising a shaving cream, oneThe library of an ad agency should have thousand men were asked to state what theybooks on every line that calls for research. A most desired in a shaving soap.painstaking advertising man will often readfor weeks on some problem, which comes up. Called on to advertise pork and beans, a Perhaps in many volumes he will find few canvass was made of some thousand offacts to use. But some one fact may be the homes. Theretofore all pork and bean adver-keynote of success. tising has been based on "Buy my brand." That canvass showed that only 4 per cent of This writer has just completed an enor- the people used any canned pork and beans.mous amount of reading, medical and other- Ninety-six per cent baked their beans atwise, on coffee. This to advertise a coffee home. The problem was not to sell a particu-without caffeine. One scientific article out of lar brand. Any such attempt appealed to onlya thousand perused gave the keynote for that four per cent. The right appeal was to win thecampaign. It was the fact that caffeine people away from home-baked beans. Thestimulation comes two hours after drinking. advertising, which without knowledge mustSo the immediate bracing effects which peo- have failed, proved a great success.ple seek from coffee do not come from thecaffeine. Removing caffeine does not remove A canvas is made, not only of homes, butthe kick. It does not modify coffees delights, also of dealers. Competition is measured up.for caffeine is tasteless and odourless. Every advertiser of a similar product is Caffeine-less coffee has been advertised written for his literature and claims. Thus wefor years. People regarded it like near beer. start with exact information on all that areOnly through weeks of reading did we find a rivals are doing.way to put it in another light. Clipping bureaus are patronised, so that To advertise toothpaste this writer has also everything printed on our subject comes toread many volumes of scientific matter dry as the man who writes ads.dust. But in the middle of one volume he Every comment that comes from consum-found the idea which has helped make mil- ers or dealers goes to this mans desk.lions for that tooth paste maker. And hasmade this campaign one of the sensations of It is often necessary in a line to learn theadvertising. total expenditure. We must learn what a user spends a year, else we shall not know if users Genius is the art of taking pains. The ad- are worth the cost of getting.vertising man who spares the midnight oilwill never get very far. We must learn the total consumption, else Before advertising a food product, 130 we may were employed for weeks to interview We must learn the percentage of readersall classes of consumers. to whom our product appeals. We must often On another line, letters we sent to 12,000 gather this data on classes. The percentagephysicians. Questionnaires are often mailed may differ on farms and in cities. The cost ofto tens of thousands of men and women to advertising largely depends on the percentageget the viewpoint of consumers. of waste circulation. 23
  25. 25. Thus a very large volume of data usuallyprecedes an advertising campaign. Even anexperimental campaign, for effective experi-ments cost a great deal of work and time. Often chemists are employed to prove ordisprove doubtful claims. An advertiser, inall good faith, makes an impressive assertion.If it is true, it will form a big factor in adver-tising. If untrue, it may prove a boomerang.And it may bar our ads from good mediums.It is remarkable how often a maker proveswrong on assertions he has made for years. Impressive claims are made far more im-pressive by making them exact. So many ex-periments are made to get the actual figures.For instance, a certain drink is known to havea large food value. That simple assertion isnot very convincing. So we send the drink tothe laboratory and find that its food value is425 calories per pint. One pint is equal to sixeggs in calories of nutriment. That claimmakes a great impression. In every line involving scientific details acensor is appointed. The ad-writer, howeverwell informed, may draw wrong inferencesfrom facts. So an authority passes on everyadvertisement. The uninformed would be staggered toknow the amount of work involved in a sin-gle ad. Weeks of work sometimes. The adseems so simple, and it must be simple to ap-peal to simple people. But back of that admay lie reams of data, volumes of informa-tion, months of research. So this is no lazy mans field. 24