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.

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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.


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.

Raymond Duke