Friday, 25 May 2018

Why I'd bank on This 107 Year old Man for Killer Copywriting Advice to Grow Your Business

I've noticed a strange thing --

When asking business owners who they've learned from or how they've acquired their marketing and advertising knowledge, there's a universal shrug, or... the mention of a few names of people they've read about or come across, but haven't dug deep enough to understand the instruction and learning from top to bottom.

Shocking really, when it's the advertising and marketing that are the key drivers to sales and long term profits.

Said differently - most business owners and entrepreneurs have little to no clue how they structure their ads, why they've created a campaign the way they have, the principles they've based their marketing and copywriting, on... they've little to zero clue why they do the things they do from a marketing and copywriting and marketing front and cannot articulate to you how it's all been thought of and assembled.

It's depressingly funny because almost all of us honestly think that there's nothing much to writing an ad or putting together a marketing campaign or launching a product or service - that there's no science or necessary learning that's involved. That anyone can do it right off the bat because there's nothing to really know. You just, do it.

BIG mistake.
(I've personally invested over tens of thousands of my own money over a 15 year period in my own direct response marketing, copywriting, consulting education from real world practitioners, and I can categorically say it's far far apart from the learning I got from my Chartered Institute of Marketing Post Graduate qualification... far far apart)  

I love the story Clayton Makepeace, one of the world's highest paid copywriters, tells of the time he fired the company he was working for because the new MBA wielding take-over owners of then profit making machine of a company, put marketing, copywriting and customers at the bottom of the list of the importance functions of the business. And what they did instead was they put themselves and their NEW PLANS and the role of meetings and restructuring the business from its current crackerjack profit status where marketing was king, where campaigns and offers were the drivers, where creating lifetime value customer relationships were driven through compelling messaging and irresistible ongoing offers... all of that got shunted to the sidelines as the new owners who hadn't an ounce of real world marketing knowledge between them, systematically drove the company that produced millions a year, deep into the dirt. They filed for bankruptcy within 90 days.

That's what happens to dumb companies who put preening, posturing and CEO importance at the top of the agenda at all times, and where marketing is relegated to the bottom of the importance file.
And that's why I'd bank on getting all the marketing, advertising and copywriting wisdom you can from Ad Genius, David Ogilvy. If he was alive today, he'd be 107. And yet, if you want to get super hip at creating fantastic advertising that'll help you sell more of the products or services you have, you cannot go wrong getting deep into Ogilvy's timeless material. And when you get his books (Ogilvy on Advertising, Confessions of an Ad Man) you'll see (GASP!) there's zero winging it when it comes to creating advertising that sells.   

In fact, no matter what size your business, what you sell, who you sell it to, see what you can gain below from the way Ogilvy treats the advertising and copywriting function - he co-founded and ran an ad agency Ogilvy & Mather - and hired copywriters to help his clients grow their businesses - (Thanks to Craig Simpson for the below)
Creative brilliance: Copywriters needed to come up with brilliant concepts. They need to not only catch their readers’ attention, but sell them on the product. He was a proponent of what was called the “big idea,” one brilliant idea that would be central to each ad campaign.

Research: Ogilvy did not believe in “blowing smoke.” His copy was meticulously based in fact. He did the necessary research to uncover the one amazing fact around which he could build an entire ad campaign; this often served as the basis for his “big idea.” (His Ad for Rolls Royce was based on this BIG IDEA "At 60 Miles An Hour, The Loudest Noise In This New Rolls Royce Comes From The Electric Clock" ... and it came after 3 weeks of digging into the research he was doing for Rolls. And you can see that ad in the post directly before this one)

Actual Results: Ogilvy was a strong believer in judging the quality of an ad by its success at selling something. Always test the outcome of an ad, and if it isn’t selling, make whatever changes are necessary to make it work.

Professional Discipline: Advertising executives were not to be dabblers in the creative realm. They needed to hone their craft and develop programs to train the next generation of advertisers.
If you've the time, discipline and desire to ramp up your advertising and copywriting with the kind of compelling irresistible intelligence no others in your marketplace are most likely doing, let alone heard of, then don't waste a second more -- get onto Amazon, order your Ogilvy books and start devouring them with the intention of applying what you learn, to your own products and services. 

It may take you several weeks to a good few months to get a real grasp of everything but it'd be well worth your while from a profit based point of view to do that because once you have the copywriting fundamentals locked in, it'll be with you for life to use each time you want to create and send out a sales message.

Now if you can't wait for months and you want a faster, much quicker way to apply the principles Ogilvy espouses so you can start seeing results from your own advertising and marketing sooner, than later... then get in touch.

(And if you'd like, go back into this blog's archives and you can see how I've adopted and adapted Ogilvy's Rolls Royce Letter, to an ad for a Honda CRV) / 07903 905 802 /

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

A Rubbish Thinking Professional = Rubbish Advertising = An Utter Waste of Money

And so the 'creative advertising merry-go-round madness', continues.  

Take a look at the above.

The headline of course, is utter rubbish. The message it's trying to convey, is nonsensical. 

Next, why pay for a full page ad, if you're only using half the page?

Next, why have the copy outlined in the format of some shimmy hoola boola dancers? 

And then, why have the copy be made hard to read with light blue writing on a paler blue background?

Ads are meant to stand out and gain attention. But not in this nincompoop way.

In fact, there's some insightful copy in the piece, though it's poorly presented in the way it appears above. 

So what would make this ad stand out? (And therefore, get greater readership and potential investors?)

How about dropping the copy into a formatted version of the David Ogilvy ad - "At 60 Miles An Hour, The Loudest Noise In This New Rolls Royce Comes From The Electric Clock"    

There's no reason to have shoddy advertising represent good quality products and services. 

Yet it seems to be happening everyday when you flip open a magazine, newspaper or search the Internet.

And what's all the more worrying is this kind of shoddy lazy application is being produced by 'professionals' who have probably attended some kind of university or place of higher learning. 

Oh dear.    

So what if you're reading this and you have to create ads to sell your products or services - why not challenge yourself or your people to create the most inviting, engaging, curiosity provoking ads they can create?  

Why not challenge them to produce a 10X  better ad than what they first come up with?

There's nothing inspiring about creating mediocre or less than mediocre output. Not only is it damaging to a business, it's a complete waste of money - CLIENT money. 

If you want a fresh pair of qualified eyes help you create the kind of advertising that creates monetary results and riveted attention from your audience, then here's the place to go: 


Friday, 24 November 2017


Let's talk about this ad.

And, why it's a monumental waste of space, money, intelligence, potential customer inquiries.

Let's take the shiny neon writing - A FRIDAY --

WHAT does that actually signify, mean, communicate?

I have zero idea.

A cute riddle probably - the answer to which only the souls who created it, know.  

Let's read the COPY on the right hand page - which is white, on a grey background (They're deciding that making their copy difficult to read is the best way to have their message not be read. Which isn't a bad idea when you get to get to read the heart of their message!)

67% of you see Black Friday
as a marketing gimmick:
We're switched on to it too.

Seeing through the gimmicks
is how we simply make 
the car you need, for
every-day-of-the-week value.

So that's it. 

That's the compelling copy created by marketing professionals that'll supposedly make you want to be connected with Dacia in some way.  

And there's a little line near the foot of the page to say:

2,000 UK adults surveyed by One Poll on behalf of Dacia UK between 27/10/2017 and 01/11/2017

And below that, in the bottom right hand corner you'll see the following 

You do the Maths.


So the first point is if you're going to spend money on a full page ad to say that you're not falling for marketing gimmicks, then why not use the page to make an irresistible Non Black Friday Offer? 

Why not demonstrate what exactly this 'every-day-of-the-week value, is? 

Why not use all that valuable real estate on the page to communicate what Dacia cars are all about, and how the readers can get a hold of more information, get details about a test drive, get details about a small replica Dacia they can keep (or some other gift), what their surveyed people would be doing instead of buying a Black Friday deal.  

In other words...

Why not make the advertisement a valuable piece, just by itself -- something compelling and irresistible that'd have people want to tear the page out, keep it, refer to it... 

-- rather than have them look at the ad and wonder what the hell it's all about, and quickly turn over to the next page of the newspaper.    

And the facts are that EVEN if Black Friday is a gimmick according to Dacia's ad agency , there'll be more trade done online during this period than offline. (Black Friday has kicked off what is predicted to be the biggest ever weekend of shopping in the UK - with consumers set to spend almost £8 billion. Evening Standard 24.11.2017)

The poor souls representing Dacia have miscalculated in that people WILL buy on Black Friday, no matter if their small biased 2000 selection of people aren't being taken in by the 'gimmick'.

They've NOT done their maths. 

What's worse, is they've spent money advertising the fact they're not into making Black Friday deals, and yet, have done an extremely poor job in communicating even that very message!  

Think about that if you have the ultimate responsibility for profits and bottom lime results - the ad cost is the same, it's the same fixed cost no matter WHAT you put on the page. Yet, the WHAT you put on the page is the difference that can yield very differing results. 

Sometimes... up to 21 times difference!

Like I say, think about the leverage in that.  


MY COMMERCIAL TO YOU: Don't have your quality based products and services represented and communicated to the marketplace by sloppy thinking souls. Challenge your ads and communications to have that irresistible appeal and that pays its way. You can find out more -      

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Pure waste of Client (Natwest Bank) Money - Thanks to Nitwit, Sloth Like Thinking

What's wrong with this Ad?

What's wrong is that what's being sold here is the creative non-artistry and copywriting incompetence of those who'll obviously not put their names to the above.

And why won't they put their names to it?

Because it's not their money on the line. It's the client money on the line.

And so because of that, that little wrinkle seems to give license for the agency to release such award winning nonsense.

Let's dissect:

Why would you show the sole of a shoe as the main image when promoting Premier Banking?

And, why show a tip of another shoe?

What's the use of it?

What message is it intended to send?

Who is the main audience for the service, and does the shoe image add to the impact?

What audience does the shoe, alienate?

What's the reason for all that wasted grey space on the page?

The copy on the sole of the shoe says:

"For those who want to see their bank manager without actually visit the bank" 

Now is that not a better, attention grabbing headline than the weak and lame - Introducing Premier Banking from NatWest? 

Here's their compelling reasoning for why their Premier Banking is different - because our customers are different! 

Is that kind of advertising premier? Does that kind of reasoning distinguish their clientele?

How about we fix things?


7 Reasons NatWest's New Premier Banking Service is Just What You've Been Looking For 


Several: to reflect the specific type of customer, the amount of money needed to invest, images to reflect the reasons mentioned in the headline.


Editorial / advertorial style. More readership and attention is gained through a non looking ad. It adds a premier type feel.


Have readers respond to a particular website or number in order to pick up a special report, guide, set of instructions that's written in conversational, plain simple English with a specific 'intro offer' for new clients to avail themselves of.

NatWest have incorporated this slogan into their advertising - We Are What We Do

Sadly, what they've done is they've done stupid by letting creative dimwits take over the show.

When in fact...

Simple ideas executed well, saves money, saves face and helps the customer get the end results the product or service is designed to do for them.



Friday, 2 June 2017

Preponderance of Proof (AKA - tell your whole frickin story!)

A mentor of mine had his mailbox flooded with proposals when he created his personal ad. (He ran it one time in a newspaper and had hundreds of quality replies)
It wasn't your ordinary ad.

It contained some 3000+ words

Why did he get the number of (quality matched) respondents he did?

Because he gave the reader every bit of possible information they could want - both about him, and the type of woman he was looking for.

He gave an overwhelming preponderance of proof .

And by doing so, disqualified a mass number from applying.

Now let's look at a full page ad from Lloyds Banking Group

So what do we see here?

A BIG BOLD headline.


The pre-headline copy - 'Helping Britain'

The copy below BUILD

Lending up to £10bn to help people move into their first home in 2017   

And, that's it.(All the showdowy blurry copy you see is copy from the previous page)

So what about all that wasted white space?

It's EXACTLY that... wasted!

There's prime empty land there to build a powerful presentation. A powerful case for what Lloyds are doing.

But no. 

Lazy-itis and sloppyitis has won the day.

Not forgetting the utter waste of client money being spent on the frivolous and fancy.

Or, it could just be flat out incompetence by the ad people Lloyds are paying. They just don't know how to make a powerful case.

So what would I do to change this ad into a compelling presentation that would have the right audience looking at this? 

I'd have the page split into 9-10 sections and in each section I'd show the different kinds of people who'd be taking advantage of these homes. I'd tell a story of their particular life scenario and how their lives are going to change. I'd have it so a reader could identify with one of those 9 or 10 different people and that would create some kind of affinity for them and,for Lloyds.

Telling the full story and providing a overwhelming preponderance of proof is not only the most valuable thing to do from a prospective purchaser or reader's point of view, it's what brings in the currency!

Thursday, 20 April 2017

What do you charge ? (timid days are over)


It's a strange 'thing'.

See, I'm having trouble even deciding what it is. 

I've used - 'thing'. 

However, the BIGGEST trouble I see it having for business owners is either -- not having enough of it...


being somewhat fearful and apprehensive in charging or quoting good strong prices for what they do.

Someone charged me 15k for a 3 day intense mastermind / coaching session. Do you think they were timid?

Ferrari and Rolls charges into the multiple hundreds of thousands for one of their vehicles. Do you think they're timid?

Certain Universities and colleges charge the equivalent of a Rolls Royce for their tuition fees. Do you think they're timid? 

Certain food stores charge multiples for their version of  'ordinary consumables' you find in the local supermarkets. Do you think they're timid?

When I read about a person charging 50k a month (a MONTH) for their coaching and leadership services, I thought to myself anything is possible.

 But only if...

We're bold enough to charge what we want (and there is always a market for high value products and services) 

AND... that we raise our standards to warrant those high prices and fees.

What do you think would happen if you were to DOUBLE your prices on some of your products or services?

Would you die? Would the world collapse? Would a tiny few of your clients rant and rave?

Or would you in fact begin to enjoy a better life each day, knowing that for the same amount of time and effort you put into selling your products and services at the old rates, you're able to adjust a few things in the product or service and now attach a higher fee, and... are happy about it?

I don't know about how you think about it but you NOT raising your standards and your fees is like being in a job and not having a pay rise for over a decade.    
What do you charge? 

Not happy about it?

Want to now change the dynamics of what you do and charge better fees and prices?

You can. 

Now's your opportunity.

Here's the email to send your price concerns to -- 

Once you send it, we'll talk about reinventing your offerings and your prices.

Timid days are over. 

It's time for you to have a mega pay rise, don't you think?

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Boring v Compelling - which ads are yours?

Can a compellingly written ad be more profitable than a boring, plain Jane type ad? 

Well, you don't need a side-by-side example to give you the answer, or do you?

Just look all around you and you'll find all the clues you need.

What do you with a boring tv programme? 

What happens if you read an article that drones on and on?

What do you do if you hear a speech full of um and ah monotony?

In almost all cases, you'd switch off, switch over, switch to something else that gives you a little more life.

Same too with ads and marketing communications.

Most ads ape and follow what's currently out there in the marketplace.

It's a continual cycle of the bland following the bland, the dumb following the dumb, the foolish following the foolish.

And it's generally not the fault of the business person because they've not received the right information, the right education, the right models of excellence. 

And why is that?

Because such information is rare and limited. (And because most marketing professionals are consumed by their own egotistical importance or are simply flat out incompetent, getting real valuable insight and information, is exceedingly rare) 

In fact, let's actually see a demonstration. A demonstration of what compelling copy looks like, and... what boring, non compelling copy looks like. 

And so imagine this was your business we're putting up on the hotseat here. (In fact, you could say this IS your business we're putting up on the hotseat here because your business communications are also either generally compelling, or... non compelling.)

Here's a typical, standard, off-the shelf type advertisement for a business:

Buy from us
We've been in business for x years.
We pride ourselves on our service, quality and reliability
No job too small or too big.
Your satisfaction is what drives us
We are very price competitive
No one does it like us

Slot in any kind of business or service and you'll understand why there's universal blandness and madness when it comes to promoting a business --  everyone is saying the same thing, the same way. And probably, getting the same kind of results. 

Does that kind of copy, that kind of static communication get the pulse racing, the glands excited, the heart and mind all joyful and engaged?

I don't think so.

So what happens when you choose to give life, dimension, embellishment to your ads and promotions - what kind of impact can you get? 

Let's see.

What if you owned an Internet Education marketing business where your services are centered around social media, PPC, SEO -- what would make an enticing, compelling ad? 

The headline would be imperative to get the prospect reading the next piece in the ad.

Because SEO, Social Media, PPC is somewhat a mystery, a minefield, an area most business people are scared of, frightened they'll get taken to the cleaners with. And so highlighting that fact in the opening headline will cause attention.

"Don't pay for SEO or Social Media marketing, Only pay for Results"
The ad can go on to say something like --

"It's an SEO and Social Media minefield out there. Who can you trust? How do you know you'll get the right kind of help? You won't really know the answer to that until after you've put your money down and by that time, it could be too late. You could've been taken to the cleaners already. We don't want to focus on your money. We want you to get comfortable with us. We want you to first get a hold of our copy of our special report that'll tell you why you don't want to pay for Social Media Marketing or SEO, and why you should pay for results instead. We'll show you the 7 key elements of a Social Media and SEO marketing plan and we'll show you how everything slots together. We'll show you how to turn your Social Media marketing into tangible results you can count. We'll show you the good, the bad and the ugly of SEO and Social Media marketing. If you like what you've read and you feel that we've helped shed a bright light for you on this mysterious world of Social Media and SEO marketing and you'd like us to arrange a no cost consultation where we'll walk you through the possibilities that exist for your business, then we'd love that opportunity"

Now what you'll see here in this ad is there's pure service. There's information and help on offer.

There's practical information and insight that helps a prospect move their mind towards wanting to find out more.

While most SEO and Social Media concerns are after the sealing the contract and not nearly interested enough in informing and educating the prospective customer, when it comes to making a decision in whom to go with for services, there's more likelihood the entity that educates, informs, gives service before asking for any money to exchange hands, will win the customer game.

What if your services or products were written and communicated in the same way as you've just seen (the second version), what kind of difference, what kind of impact would it make in the number of clients you secure and, in their cumulative total customer value?

Put pen to paper to it because that's the only way you can get a clear answer.

Compellingly written ads will always out-trump and out-money the boring or the hype filled variations. 

Test it.
07903 905 802 /