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Promises Promises

Monday, November 28, 2016
northampton copywriter

Do you remember this ad?

You do?  Wow!  That's some confession.  You must be nearly as old as me.

Next question.

Will you admit to sending off for the Charles Atlas body-building programme?  OK - me neither.

Those body-building ads ran longer than any other ads in history, so they must have had something going for them.

But what was it that made them so effective?

It’s all in the art of the Promise.

When I first studied copywriting, I read time and again about promoting benefits, not just features.

Let’s pretend we're putting together a Charles Atlas ad. -

  • After 60 days, your muscles will be finely toned - benefit.
  • The Charles Atlas course comprises a spring-loaded body-building device and a 60-page booklet - feature.

The feature and benefit are fine - both have their place.  But here comes the clincher.

  • You too can have a body like mine – promise.

Do you see how those 8 simple words build a dream in your reader’s imagination and it’s the promise of that dream that she or he is buying.

Here are more examples of promises (some perhaps more desirable than others) –

  • Turn your living room into a big-screen cinema
  • Be the envy of your friends
  • Cut your golf handicap in half
  • At last you can own your dream kitchen

2 questions -

1. Have you ever sent off for a product that promised to change your life?
2. Did it?

Post your answers below.

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