The Truth is Hard to Argue With!
By Stu Leventhal
Advertisements, promotional media and marketing efforts now-a-days need to be mostly artistic endeavors with a small sales pitch added. With popularity of the internet and mobile phone technology people are bombarded by advertising more than ever. Naturally as a survival mechanism we have all developed a bad taste for anything that even remotely resembles a commercial. We also have been given the ability to delete and mute stuff we do not wish to be subjected to. Thus advertisements are taking a beating as far as their promotional effectiveness is concerned. Today’s marketing must entertain if it will be tolerated long enough for a sales pitch to be presented.
A lot of philosophers are quick to blame commerce, advertising and big and small business in general for most of the ills of modern society. They are quick to label business people and greedy companies as evil. I say business is a necessary evil or at least we have to accept that the evil part of our competitive business world will not be going away anytime soon. No matter how one feels about the influence commerce and the big business sectors have on steering our societies, one cannot deny the fact that business, industry and commerce for the most part define how modern culture develops.
I say business and commerce is necessary because they are needed to bring great ideas to the public especially in such a modern and materialistic society as ours. When money does not get involved with a great idea that idea dies quickly and often disappears for good. Would I like to see the top business and industry leaders become more humanitarian and stop worshiping profits so much? Of course! But is it realistic to think that will happen anytime soon? No.
Marketing, promotion and advertising are major tools of commerce that business and industry uses to drive profits and compete with each other. Without good promotional campaigns, business dies! With well performing ads, commercials and marketing efforts business thrives! Yes, commercials are often annoying, intrusive and invasive but for now we must accept that commercials are here to stay.
When someone develops the next step towards a cure for cancer it will be business and industry who present the knowledge to the rest of the world via ads, commercials and promotional media. Then, the next group of geniuses can start working on the next step of the cure. Yes, business and industry’s motives will be to make a profit. The question is how can we, the public, point the finger at the salesman and the businessman for bringing us products we desire?
Yes, it is obviously true that the ruthless pursuit of money is often the root cause of a lot of what is wrong with our world. But money is a great motivator. Great things are often accomplished during the quests for fortune and fame. Do I wish all future copywriting would be written with love, understanding, caring and compassion? Yes!
I actually believe that when that rare feat is accomplished the promotional text is of the highest quality and when presented creatively, performs exceptionally well. But as a realist, I must admit I generally expect most promotional text I encounter to be a bore and thus an unwanted interruption and complete waste of my time.
This perception can only be countered by creating promotional materials that are much more works of art than they are sales pitches or, by adding some scholarly value to our commercials. In actuality, I believe the sales pitch would have to be like the signature or credentials at the end of the art piece. Like saying, “This episode was brought to you by XYZ Corporation now go check out our new model E-11 vacuum sweeper with turbo technology. But, elevating our advertisements and commercials to a higher moral level would take buyer support. Ultimately it is the public that decides through purchasing, what types of commercials are acceptable.
In conclusion, outright deceit and deceptions are the only bad copywriting qualities. I believe it takes far too long for new and amateur copywriters to realize the old adage, “Cheaters and liars never prosper!”
Embellishing seems easy at first but it makes it hard to stay the course. So, my best copywriting tip is, do not take shortcuts. Do your homework, find the truth then tell everyone about it with complete confidence and pride!
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