Radio-Hed-Logo-2By Jeffrey Hedquist

Here’s a copy technique we’ve been using for decades. I’ve called it “test drive” or “Rehearsal.” In sales a variation is known as the assumptive close. In the world of NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) it’s known as future pacing. It’s based on visualization techniques.

Whatever name you give it, it employs your audience’s rich imaginations to place them sometime in the future using and benefiting from your client’s product or service.

It can give someone the simulated experience (rehearses them) before they actually have the experience in reality. The assumption is that the mind can’t tell the difference between a scenario that’s real and one that has been clearly visualized.

So when your audience has “rehearsed” an experience in their mind, they’re that much closer to doing it in real life.

I’m not claiming to be an expert in NLP. I’m just showing how it can work to get results for your client.

Some suggestions:

Don’t ask your audience to “imagine.” They’ve heard that cliché too often to respond. Describe their having done it and congratulating them on it.

If you can involve all their sensory perceptions – sound, sight, touch/feelings, taste, and smell you’ll increase their memory retention.

Show rather than tell.

Give the audience credit for already knowing something, doing something, behaving in a certain way. Remind them that they know or are doing something in the present, when in fact, it will be something they do in the future to fulfill the scene that was depicted in the commercial. Reinforce the benefits to them.

We’ve used this technique to get results for ski resorts, retailers, educational institutions, direct response advertisers of all kinds and most recently for a blood service on the east coast.

To increase blood donations at a time of year when they were typically low, we appealed to existing donors – thanking them for their continued donations and reminding them that they had experienced the benefits of giving. We were telling them they were special.

As a result, many of those regular donors gave again, and many new donors came in, an increase of 21% from the previous year.

Helping your audience experiencing the benefits of what your advertiser has to offer in their imaginations can increase sales – the lifeblood of any business.

© 1997-2011 Hedquist Productions, Inc.  All rights reserved.

InterServer Web Hosting and VPS


  • The R.A.P. Cassette - December 1998

    Production demo from interview subject, Scott Muller at the GWR Group, Bristol, UK; plus more imaging, promos and commercials from Jim Hausfeld,...