A sneaky (yet ethical) way to get your copy read

A few days ago, my friend Tai sent me a sample of some great advertorial.

(An advertorial is a combination of an editorial and advertising.)

It's for a joint pain relief product, which isn't a new product at all. There are thousands of joint pain relief products on the market. What's different about the product is how it positions itself as something new and exciting.

The research that went into writing it is some of the best I've seen in a while.

It's also well written... in fact, it reads very similar to an article in other articles in USA Today, where it was featured, which is an "under the radar" approach. If you’re looking for an example of sneaky, yet ethical, way to get noticed by your reader — check this out.

Why I stopped buying condoms in Japan

Of all the countries I've been to, Japan is the most unique. There are things happening in Japan you won't find anywhere else in the world.

For example, Japanese streets are sparkling clean (I remember seen healthy, wild fish swimming in the gutter), yet there are no public trash cans. How is that, you wonder? Let me tell you... it's because it's Japanese people don't walk around with trash. For them, the idea of taking trash with you from one destination to another is silly. Which makes sense, right? I wish more countries would adopt that way of thinking. The last time I was in Bali, the beaches there were horrific.

Anyway, back to Japan.

Another thing I like about Japan is how much they care about service. When you go to a restaurant, cafe, or market, you're treated like royalty. It's amazing. And in addition to that, it's rude to tip in Japan. You're being treated well because it's cultural, not because they want more money (like in America).

The Japanese are very innovative too. From being able to turn on and fill up the bathtub with warm water from your kitchen to some of the most-technologically advanced toilets in the world, Japan is ahead of the game. They also got some innovation going on when it comes to condoms, too. I remember buying a pack of Japanese condoms that had handles on the sides; so instead of rolling the condom on with your fingers, you pulled on the two straps to put the condom on as easy as a hat. Brilliant. I kept one as a souvenir.

Unfortunately, the condoms in Japan are too small for me.

That's meant to sound like me bragging. It's more like, well, you know what they say about Asian men. It's true. And that's why I stopped buying condoms in Japan.

The lesson is is no matter how innovative you are, your product won't matter to someone who isn't a good fit (heh). Focusing on the features, benefits, and whatnot is always a good thing, but never forget WHO the actual person is you are marketing to.

Don't assume you know what they want, understand his or her needs (and physical constraints) instead.

Marketing to who the person is (not who you think they are) is another lesson you'll learn more about in copywriting programs.

Learn more here.

How "alien deceptionology" can help you write better copy

Hello from Sochi, Russia. My girlfriend and I arrived here yesterday. It was a 2-hour flight from our previous destination, Moscow.

Here's a pic of us from the restaurant we ate at before the flight.

IMG-20190721-WA0012 (1).jpg

The place was called White Rabbit and it's apparently one of the top restaurants in the world. Being a food lover, I had to try. Was it good? Yes! If you're ever in the neighborhood, I recommend stopping by.

Anyway...

I want to talk about aliens, multiple dimensions, and the creation of time now.

This past week I've been reading the latest book from a popular Chinese sci-fi series called The Three Body Problem. One of the many interesting concepts from the books is about an advanced alien race, that due to their unique nature of communication, is physically unable to deceive. Yet, because they realize lying can be a possible weapon to use vs. other civilizations, they start teaching "deceptionology" in their schools.

This got me thinking, what if WE (humans) were unable to tell lies? Think of how much progress we'd make as a species if we were collectively working together to achieve a goal, instead of using deception for personal gain and/or as a way to avoid unfavorable outcomes. Sure, lying may gave benefits, like not hurting someone's feelings... but in the grand scheme of things, I think telling the truth is best.

"I'd rather be punched in the face with the truth than tickled with a lie."

When it comes to copywriting, many new copywriters think they have to hide the truth for their copy to convert. They think that whenever there's something unfavorable about the brand or product they're writing about, they do their best to avoid talking about. This is a mistake. Instead of lying, tell the truth. Always. Better yet — get ahead of the truth and frame it in a favorable way. Because people will eventually figure things out and they'll respect you more for not being misleading.

A good example of this is the slogan "We try harder" from Avis. They knew they weren't the #1 car company in the world and instead of focusing on something else, they found a clever way to position themselves. Because they're not the best, they try harder than the #1 company.

Something to think about the next time you write. In fact, you could even go as far as making a list of the product's "flaws" and come up with clever (and true) ways of positioning them. If you managed to apply this tip the next time you write, let me know.

In other news, I'm making progress on the full course. I'd like to get it launched Monday next week. You'll be the first to know as soon as it's done.

Until then, if you want to check out the series I mentioned — start with this book.