You’ve been lied to.
No, not by the media and the news. I don’t need to point that out. Anyone with half a brain can spot how biased Huffington post and the major news networks are.
However, I’m not going to talk about the news. No. I’m talking about most of the so called “facts” being forced on you from all corners.
Now, moving on…
One of the most important parts of planning copy is taking the extent of “public education” into account. Here’s a story, when Johnson & Johnson tried selling their long running product, Listerine, as a mouth wash…
People where flocking to buy it with the eagerness of a child being forced to eat his vegetables.
Nobody actually thought they needed to fix their breath, so they didn’t buy it.
But J&J wasn’t giving up without a fight.
Instead of submitting to the whims of their market, they decided to grasp it in their greedy hands and mold it into the efficient buying machine it is now.
They took a random latin word ( “halitosis ” ). Made up a disease ( chronic bad breath ) and said everyone, including you had it. And the only way to cure it was to buy their product.
Then they ran a fear campaign appealing to as many mass markets as they could.
No grounds where sacred with these fuckers… oh no. They went full ham. And they where especially bad to the women. They went as far as telling women their bad breath was scaring the men away and they’ll always remain single. They even told young women how their friends where talking about their breath behind their backs. About how the dashing young men taking them on a date won’t kiss them at the end.
They. Where. Brutal. Such agression… such power…. Ahem…
But we can learn from this strategy.
Well, you see after J&J’s epic “Halitosis” campaign the public was so educated on the “so called dangers” of bad breath nobody else had to retread the same grounds.
Everyone else who showed up to the party already had a hungry bunch of customers waiting to buy.
No need to re-educate them. Just ready, aim, sell.
And that’s how you should approach any copywriting job. Consider how educated your target market is about the problem and the solution.
Time to wrap this up. So, for copy which looks at how your market has been educated about both their problem, and all the solution which came before you, then hit me up here:
PS I shit you not.
Listering was originally sold as a general household cleaner.
Unbelievable, isn’t it?