Thursday, January 21, 2010

I Felt I Had Failed As A Mother. Here's Why.

Roger Dooley writes about applying brain science to marketing and sales. Pointing to the famous John Caples ad, Roger tweeted the following: “Sell with stories, they light up the brain #neuromarketing."

Marketing Brillo agrees wholeheartedly that there is much to learn from classic advertising and recommends for a treasure trove of copywriting genius.

In the 30s and 40s, copywriters were telling complete stories to pull in the audience. Even today, silly and dated as vintage ads might seem, who can resist headlines like these from the 1930s?

“He called me a waster, but took it all back afterward.” (1930)

“Will their Dream come True, or will Sex Ignorance Mar their Happiness?” (1930)

Take the "young mom" market segment, for example, and consider whether 1930s and 1940s vintage advertising to that group doesn't include a few rich lessons for copywriters today. Test yourself. Take a look at the headline below and see if you, too, aren't compelled to read the first block of copy in this faux comic-strip ad from October 1943. In fact, see if you don't simply have to read it all the way through.

“I felt I had failed as a mother!”

Block 1: Once when my husband was away, Little Harry and I were home alone. Ordinarily, we’d have had a lot of fun “keeping house.” But this time, Barry needed a laxative. I tried giving him the same one his Father takes, but he balked at the taste, as I tried to force it down him. Afterward, he cried as I punished him by sending him to bed.

Block 2: I kept telling myself I’d done it for the child’s own good, but I couldn’t help having an awful feeling of guilt. Just then, Aunt Margaret dropped in and I told her about it.

Block 3: “Goodness,” she said, “forcing a child to take bad tasting medicine can upset his whole nervous system and may do him more harm than good . Why don’t you give him Castoria? It’s made especially for children.”

Block 4: “It’s pleasant tasting, so a child won’t struggle against taking it. And, Castoria is gentle and safe, yet effective. It doesn’t grip and won’t upset a youngster’s delicate insides. Ask your druggist.”

Block 5: Sure enough, my druggist said Aunt Margaret was right. He told me many doctors approve Castoria for children. He also said that, since it works almost naturally in 9 to 11 hours, it doesn’t disturb sleep.

Block 6: And he suggested the new Family size bottle, containing nearly 50% more Castoria at the same price. So I gave Harry Castoria the next time he needed a laxative. He loved the taste and it worked wonderfully.

You may have failed as a Mother, my friend, but you were a heckuva copywriter.

-- scrubbed by Marketing Brillo

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