Saturday, June 6, 2009

Could This Be The Worst Ad Ever?

A Special Bulletin from our "Copywriting Hall of Shame" Department...

Would you buy a product advertised like this:

Various Stuff - $15

Fat chance, right?

Well, I'm afraid that's pretty much a marketing message I received yesterday, verbatim.

Hey, listen, I really like my friends down at the local running store.

I buy my Brooks Beast running shoes there... enjoy training runs and races they sponsor... and I get tons of good advice from them practically every week.

But brother, was I disappointed when I got this email from them. Here's the copy:

"Special Sunday Event - Several running experts
speaking on various topics - $15."


How many rules of copywriting and markeing did they break? Too many to count. But perhaps the most obvious three...

GUILTY of violation: The Power of One - One strong feature is more powerful than several (or even many) weaker ones.

GUILTY of violation: Use Specifics, never Summaries or Generalization.

GUILTY of violation: Show, Don't Tell - Provide Proof of your claims.

This would be SO much more powerful as...

Coming this Sunday, Power up Your Running To The Next Level!

* Four-Time US Racing champ John Smith explains how to cut 15 minutes off your fall marathon time...

* Mt Sinai Medical School director Mary Jones gives you the 4 secrets to avoiding training injuries and getting in the best shape of your life in the next 6 weeks...

* Adidas Director of Technology Jim Jackson previews their exciting new X-743 running shoe - and you'll also be able to get it at 25% off (Sunday only).

Isn't that a little better? Now that, I might pay $15 for!

But "various experts talking on several topics"? Ugh!

OK... Slow, deep breath... End of rant.


The Biz Runner said...

Great post. Amazing someone thought that sign was a good idea. I write about the post and linked to your blog on my blog:

Canadian Reader said...

I'm not saying that the running store ad is a good one, but I must admit I would rather respond to that, than scroll down pages of repetitive verbosity. The claim that if I commit myself to reading that amount, I will commit to the product and eventually the product's price. Perhaps for some.

Doug Hughes said...


Just came across your blog. Suzanne Richardson mentioned you in a you tube video.

Looks like you have some interesting content in here.

I haven't had a chance to look through everything but I book marked it and will check it out often.

Thanks for all the copygeek posts.

~ Doug Hughes

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