By Jeffrey Hedquist
Continuing on in our pursuit of truth in advertising, here are the rest of the steps in the process I promised you:
4. What emotional need does the client’s product or service meet? Ask a series of questions until you find the emotional gems. The process can be like peeling an onion. Examples: to feel safe, to be loved, to be accepted.
The deepest and most basic needs are the most powerful. If you can truthfully show how the advertiser’s benefits to the buyer will solve those needs, you’ll connect with your audience.
5. Find true stories from your client’s or your life, because real stories have power. Use them to illustrate the benefits.
6. Be truthful, but tell stories – that don’t sound like commercials. Have a conversation with the audience. Dramatize it.
7. Scan your commercial for clichés, hype, unsubstantiated claims, and replace with regular conversation, explanations, and understatement. Example: Don’t just exclaim that you’re having a sale on an item; explain why. Maybe you overbought, or are selling the item at a loss to bring in new customers, or want to introduce people to a new line of items.
8. Keep it simple. Don’t be afraid to narrowcast – “We’re not for everyone, we don’t sell everything.” Address only the group you want. Don’t invite everyone to the party, ‘cause then no one will come.
9. Be natural. Before you write, grab a recorder and pretend to have a phone conversation with a friend, or leave a phone message, or dictate a letter to someone, telling them in a conversational way what you’ve discovered about an advertiser, or service, or product. When you transcribe it to refine it into a commercial, you’ll find you have something that sounds more natural than if you’d started writing first.
Good luck! I’d love to hear about your successes with these techniques.
© 2005 Hedquist Productions, Inc. All rights reserved.