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Copywriting secret of the masters the man in the hathaway shirt - michael masterson


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Copywriting Articles by Michael Masterson

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Copywriting secret of the masters the man in the hathaway shirt - michael masterson

  1. 1. Copywriting Secret of the Masters: The Man in the Hathaway Shirt by: Michael Masterson This special report is brought to you free courtesy of
  2. 2. The Man in the Hathaway Shirt Have you seen The Most Interesting Man in the World? Im referring to the TV commercials for Dos Equis beer. They star a rugged-looking, silver-haired man who is always surrounded by beautiful women.In one version of the commercial, he arm-wrestles a Third World general andreleases a grizzly bear from a trap. In another, the narrator relates that evenhis enemies list him as their emergency contact and that the police oftenquestion him just because they find him interesting.If you are a student of advertising, you know this is a knockoff of DavidOgilvys famous ad campaign: The Man in the Hathaway Shirt.If you dont know the history of this ad, you should.In Brief: It was 1951. Ellerton Jette, a shirt maker from Waterville, Mainewanted to grow his little business into a national brand, but he didnt havemuch money. He had heard about the advertising prowess of David Ogilvy.So he booked a meeting with him."I have an advertising budget of only $30,000," he told Ogilvy. "And I knowthats much less than you normally work with. But I believe you can makeme into a big client of yours if you take on the job."If hed stopped there, Ogilvy would have thrown him out of the office. Butthen he said something that sold the great salesman.He said, "If you do take on the job, Mr. Ogilvy, I promise you this. No matterhow big my company gets, I will never fire you. And I will never change aword of your copy."There is a big lesson here. So lets stop for a moment and talk about it.What Ellerton Jette did was a little bit of genius, in my opinion. In two shortsentences, he changed the mind of one of the most powerful men in theworld of advertising. At the same moment, he made himself a very rich man.Not a week goes by when I dont get a letter from a complete stranger whosees me as his David Ogilvy. They are direct and to the point. "I know I canget rich if you help me, Mr. Masterson," they say. "So how about it?"
  3. 3. What makes them think I have the time, if not the inclination, to help them?It never even occurs to them to offer me something in return for what theyare asking.Jettes $30,000 budget might have put $3,000 in Ogilvys pocket. Though itwas a paltry sum then and a mere pittance now, at least it was something.But what really cinched the deal was the two promises Jette made.Going into the meeting, Jette knew he had one chance to forge arelationship with Ogilvy. He somehow understood that Ogilvy, as successfulas he was, had two big problems. He worried that his biggest clients wouldwalk away from him. And he hated it when his clients screwed with his copy.So, instead of thinking only of his own goals, Jette took the time to figureout how he could offer Ogilvy something that would be of immense value tohim. (This, by the way, is one of many lessons I teach in mySpecial Theoryof Automatic Wealth.)When Jette made his two promises, Ogilvy realized that he was talking to abusinessman who would eventually become a partner. He could see thatJette was a man of good faith who would let Ogilvy be in charge of hismarketing. And that he would reward Ogilvy with a lifetime of loyalty.Now, lets get back to the story of the Hathaway shirt ad…After accepting Jettes offer, Ogilvy spent days doing in-depth research onJettes client base. He came up with dozens of ideas. The one he settled onwas a campaign built around the image of a distinguished man in a romanticlocation dressed in a Hathaway shirt. He selected a model that looked likeWilliam Faulkner and booked the first photo shoot.On the way to the shoot, he passed a five and ten cent store where hebought a few cheap eye patches. At the shoot, he asked the model to wearan eye patch for a few shots.The moment he saw the photos with the eye patch, he knew.The Man in the Hathaway Shirt campaign was an instant success. The adswere carried in papers around the country, and were mentioned editorially inTime, Life, and Fortune. Before long, hosts of imitators appeared. Othercompanies ran ads featuring eye patches on babies, dogs… even cows. Acartoon in The New Yorker shows three men looking into the display windowof a shirt store. In the second panel, they are coming out of the store, witheye patches on.
  4. 4. Ogilvy got the idea for the patch, he said, from a photo of Ambassador LewisDouglas, who had injured his eye while fishing in England. But he got theidea itself – the idea of this aristocratic man with a romantic life – from theJames Thurber story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." (Actually, KennethRoman pointed out inThe King of Madison Avenue, it could have been fromthe secret life of David Ogilvy. As a young executive, Ogilvy was prone towearing capes and bowties while everyone else was in grey flannel suits.)Of course, it wasnt just the eye patch that made the ads work. It was thecombination of the model, the situation he was in, and the copy itself.And the copy was brilliant. Heres the first line of the first ad:"The melancholy disciples of Thorstein Veblen would have despised thisshirt."Most readers of the ad had no idea who Thorstein Veblen was. But they gotthe idea. Veblen was some sort of snobby aristocratic. By posing ahandsome, silver-haired model with an eye patch in a Hathaway shirt andputting that line underneath the photo, Ogilvy struck a chord in theAmerican imagination. We all hate aristocrats, but we would like to be one.There was another brilliant thing about the ad. Putting the model in aromantic location gave the pitch a fictional element. It had "story appeal," asOgilvy put it.Ogilvy said he discovered the concept of story appeal in a book by HaroldRudolph, a former ad agency research director. This was the first time,Roman says in his book, "that shirt advertising focused as much on the manwearing the shirt as on the shirt itself."And now, back to The Most Interesting Man in the World…I am a fan of these Dos Equis commercials. I like them both because theyare a salute to David Ogilvy and also because they successfully replicate thekey elements in Ogilvys ads for the Hathaway shirt. They have thehandsome, silver-haired model. They have the eye patch. And they have theanti-aristocrat touch. (The product is beer, after all.)They also have the romance and the story. Each new edition of thecommercial is another episode in this most interesting mans life.
  5. 5. They fall short only in one respect. They dont do a great job of equating theproduct with the concept.When I remember a Dos Equis ad, I remember the actors face. I rememberthe pretty girls in the background. Im aware that he is a man that womenfind irresistible. And that when he drinks he drinks… Wait a minute. Whatdoes he drink?Theres the rub.We find out that The Most Interesting Man in the World drinks Dos Equis. Buthe could just as well drink Pabst Blue Ribbon. The creative people behindthis very good ad campaign get a big demerit for that. Ogilvy, on the otherhand, put the name of the product in the headline. The fact that his manwas wearing a Hathaway shirt was integral to the story.Grabbing the prospects attention with an entertaining story or idea or photois essential for any sort of advertising campaign. But you have to do morethan that. You have to sell the product. And to do that, you must link theinitial sentiment created in the headline with the final emotion needed toclose the sale at the end.In AWAIs copywriting program, I call this "the Golden Thread." Its prettysimple. The product is at one end of the thread. The prospects heart is atthe other end. Every element of the copy must be connected to the productas well as to the prospect. And the connection must be taut. If the threadgoes slack, even for a second, you lose the sale.I will end this essay by saying this: You have just read about half a dozen ofthe most powerful marketing secrets I know. If you put this essay down andforget about it, you will be making a terrible mistake. Read it at least half adozen times and think about it. If it doesnt make you a multi-millionaire, Illeat my shirt. Hathaway, of course.
  6. 6. MICHAEL MASTERSON – There is no one more qualified and experienced than copywriter,entrepreneur, and business-builder Michael Masterson to teach you the art, craft, andbusiness of copywriting.Michael started his first business – a fifth-grade publishing venture – at age 11.After finishing grad school at the University of Michigan in 1975, he spent two years in thePeace Corps, where he began his writing career.Several years later he was working as a writer for a small newsletter publishing company inWashington D.C. Then, in 1982, he learned the art of copywriting and launched the first ofdozens of successful direct-marketing ventures, many of which have become multi-milliondollar companies.All told, he’s been directly involved in the generation of over ONE BILLION DOLLARS of salesthrough the mail and online.He’s also a highly successful author. He’s published more than a dozen books, includingseveral which have become Wall Street Journal, or New York Timesbestsellers.Today, Michael consults mainly for newsletter publishing giant Agora, Inc., and writesregularly for Early To Rise, one of the most popular self-improvement newsletters on theInternet, and for The Golden Thread, AWAI’s weekly copywriting newsletter.But there’s more to Michael Masterson than just his writing and business skills.Michael also has a knack for taking just about anyone with a burning desire to upgrade hislifestyle – no matter what his background or education – and transforming him (or her) intoa 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