Timeless Marketing Truth How To Add Character To Your Marketing And
Bring Your Message Alive

Timeless Marketing Truth How To Add Character To Your Marketing And Bring Your Message Alive



Making a​ character out of​ the​ advertiser brings the​ message alive. Maxwell Sackheim is​ most famous for inventing the​ Book-of-the-Month Club. But before that,​ he invented some dramatic,​ and dramatically successful,​ advertising.

One of​ his patented techniques was to​ make a​ character out of​ the​ advertiser,​ writing ads as​ if​ the​ clients themselves were actually talking. One Sackheim client was Frank E. Davis,​ "The Gloucester Fisherman".  This is​ how Sackheim wrote for him:
 
"There is​ no use trying. I've tried and tried to​ tell people about my fish,​ but I wasn't rigged out to​ be an​ ad writer and I can't do it. I can close-haul a​ sail with the​ best of​ them. I know how to​ pick out the​ best fish of​ the​ catch… But I'll never learn the​ knack of​ writing an​ ad that will tell people why my kind of​ fish—fresh caught,​ with the​ deep sea tang still in​ it—is lots better than the​ ordinary store kind.
 
"At least you​ can taste the​ difference.  So you​ won't mind,​ will you,​ if​ I ship some of​ my fish direct to​ your home?  it​ won't cost you​ anything unless you​ feel like keeping it. All I ask is​ that you​ try some of​ my fish at​ my expense and judge for yourself whether it​ isn't exactly what you​ have always wanted."
 
This copy sold tens of​ thousands of​ tubs of​ fish right across the​ country. the​ authentic character of​ the​ Gloucester Fisherman brought life,​ and customers,​ to​ the​ product.

You’re thinking,​ “Great then,​ but now? Come on.” Maybe you’ve heard of​ a​ couple multi-millionaires named Harry and David? Ever wonder how they got started? Years after Sackheim,​ a​ copywriter called G. Lynn Sumner wrote an​ ad for a​ pair of​ pear growers.  the​ ad set off with the​ headline: "Imagine Harry and Me Advertising Our Pears in​ Fortune!"
 
Here's a​ snippet of​ Sumner’s copy: "Out here on​ the​ ranch we don't pretend to​ know much about advertising,​ and maybe we're foolish spending the​ price of​ a​ tractor for this space; but my brother and I got an​ idea the​ other night,​ and we believe you​ folks who read Fortune are the​ kind of​ folks who'd like to​ know about it. So here's our story..."
 
Years later again,​ in​ the​ ‘70s,​ Frank Schulz took a​ Joe Sugarman seminar. Joe suggested the​ character formula. Frank wrote a​ headline:  "A Fluke of​ Nature.” He told of​ the​ accidental invention of​ the​ “ruby red” grapefruit,​ and about how picky they are in​ picking the​ fruit. the​ rest is​ marketing history.
 
One variation on​ the​ character gambit is​ the​ open letter. Norman Cousins resigned from the​ Saturday Review to​ launch his own World Review Magazine. Showing one heck of​ a​ lot of​ character,​ he put up $15,​711 for three insertions in​ the​ New York Times. They were headed,​ "An Open Letter to​ the​ Readers of​ the​ New York Times." He told them what was wrong with the​ journalism of​ the​ day and what they’d get from the​ World Review. That first round of​ advertising netted Cousins $54,​923.00 in​ subscriptions.

Every viable enterprise has a​ character behind it​ somewhere. When you​ find it,​ then you​ know what’s unique about the​ company—and that’s at​ least halfway to​ great advertising!




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