Prepare yourself, because I’ve got a real treat for you today.
(Although you probably won’t appreciate it if you’re not an advertising history nerd like me … or you’re averse to violence.)
Because today, we’re officially launching the first round of …
COPYWRITING FIGHT CLUB!!!
And ladies and gentlemen, I have a special fight lined up for you today.
Yes, we’ve resurrected two of history’s greatest ad men for a …
FIGHT … TO … THE … DEAATHHHHHHHH!
(Well, the re-death, they’re both already dead.)
In the red corner, would you please give it up for the one … the only …
Claaaaaaaude Hopkins … the Father of Modern Ad-ver-ti-siiiiiing!!!
The crowd goes wild as a short, bald, bespectacled old man with a white moustache throws off his gown to reveal a wrinkled old torso. He boxes the air a few times and yells: “We’re gonna do this advertising match the SCIENTIFIC way, suckaz!”
(If you didn’t get that joke, I’m shaking my head sadly at you. Google him.)
And in the blue corner — challenging Mr. Hopkins for the title — we have the legendary ad man …
David … Ogilvy!!!!
And today, Ogilvy is—
Do my eyes deceive me?
No, ladies and gentlemen, David Ogilvy has rocked up to this fight in a giant … clown suit?
Well, I have seen stranger things.
And perhaps it’s appropriate, because the title of today’s fight is:
“Should You Use Humour To Sell?”
Ding-ding … let’s get this cage match started!
The first blow is as swift as it is brutal:
“People don’t buy from clowns!!!” snarls Hopkins, with a right hook to Ogilvy’s clown-masked head.
The crowd oohs.
But Ogilvy isn’t down. He counters with a vicious spinning kick that sends Hopkins flying:
“Maybe in your day, old man, but the rules have changed!” he booms.
(Note to reader: What, you haven’t read Ogilvy on Advertising either? Geez, all these great jokes are just flying right over your little head then, aren’t they?)
Hopkins sits there, wheezing.
Then he staggers to his feet, wipes a trickle of blood from his moustache with his glove, and sniffs.
“That all ya got, agency-boy?” he taunts. “Back in my day, we didn’t need to use cheap gags to fool people!”
With surprising speed for an old man, he runs towards Ogilvy, and fires a quick jab at his nose.
But Ogilvy ducks, and collects Hopkins with his own haymaker:
“Oh, yeah? Did you forget chapter 5 of your own book, Grandpa?” taunts Ogilvy. “’People will not be bored in print’. YOU wrote that! And I’ve read it seven times!”
Hopkins collapses with a broken rib. He groans.
Ogilvy steps over him and starts laying into him:
“I sold thousands of shirts with a man in an eyepatch!”
“Mastered the art of Facebook ads decades before Zuckerberg was born!”
“So let me tell you right now … more than ever, you can’t afford not to make people laugh!”
It’s brutal, folks!
I think we’re going to have to cut the cameras away from this one.
(Besides, what is wrong with you, you sicko? Watching a couple of old dudes beat each other up?)
Okay, so who won?
Well, you might think that because I use (lame) humour, I’m calling it for Ogilvy.
But the reason I use humour isn’t actually to help make the sale.
In fact, I personally think you don’t want people laughing at the moment you’re asking them to click the ‘Buy Now’ button. (More on that in just a moment.)
(A bloodied and bruised Claude Hopkins wheezes from the floor of the boxing ring: “See, I told … you … so …”)
So, why do I use humour?
Because I want something more than the immediate sale.
I don’t care if humour makes people buy or not.
It makes people READ.
And you want your readers to read, and read, and read. And then, when they know you, and they like you, and you’ve earned their trust, they will buy.
And often, these slow-to-buy people end up being far better customers than anyone who just impulse-bought from the first email.
I’ve watched this exact process play out over years in some very big and profitable businesses. It works better than anything else.
And you can take that to the bank …
(Just don’t wear a clown suit, or you might get arrested.)
PS: it’s one of my swipe files
PPS: I am starting my next batch of copywriting classes this Sunday ( 25th April) and will be the last live classes by me. I will not do anymore live classes. SO this is your opportunity to learn and squeeze maximum from your one-to-one 2 hrs free consulting ( everyone who enrols will get this offer as this is my last live class). Ask for the details in WhatsApp