So today we’re going to continue this mini series discussing Eugene Schwart’s teachings. We’ve already looked at 2 of the 3 things you need to get clear on before deciding what goes into your headline, which are... The mass desire...
So today we’re going to continue this mini series discussing Eugene Schwart’s teachings.
We’ve already looked at 2 of the 3 things you need to get clear on before deciding what goes into your headline, which are...
The mass desire that motivates your market
The state of awareness your market has about your product.
The third thing you need to know is the state of sophistication of your market... or in plain English... how many similar products to yours have your audience been told about before?
So with that in mind, let’s take a look at the five levels of sophistication, and you approach each situation.
1) If you are first in your market then you are dealing with prospects that have zero sophistication about your product at all. In this situation you want to be SIMPLE and DIRECT. Name either the need or the claim in your headline and dramatize it. Make it as powerful as possible, and then bring in your product and prove it works.
2) Or if you’re second and the claim that was used is still working... then copy that claim but enlarge it. Drive it to the absolute limit. Outbid your competition.
3) In this stage your prospect has now heard all the claims and all the extremes and read dozens of ads for a similar product. Mere repetition or exaggeration won’t work any longer. What you need is a new device to make the old boring claims fresh and believable again... or a new mechanism... to make the old promise work again. This could be a different process, a fresh chance, or a brand new possibility of success where only disappointment has resulted before.
4) However, in competitive markets these strategies only provide a temporary advantage. What you need now is a new stage of elaboration and enlargement. The difference is this time the enlargement is concentrated on the mechanism, rather than on the original promise. In other words... make it promise extra benefits of it being quicker, easier, or more certain.
5) In the final stage of sophistication your market no longer believes in your advertising, and therefore no longer wishes to be aware of your product. In this case it’s time to identify with the prospect themselves. So instead of bringing your prospect into your ad through desire... you need to do it through identification. You are basically reviving a dead product by approaching it from a completely different angle that the prospect can relate to.
So how about an example of a product that went through all five stages. The example provided in the book is about the cigarette industry and a brand called “Camel”.
When the brand was new they focused on taste, enjoyment and pleasure and came up with this for a headline: “I’d walk a mile for a CAMEL”.
Once this was worn out they had to come up with a new angle, which was, “Light up a Lucky and you won’t miss the sweets that make you fat”.
Eventually, this wore out as well so they now had to focus on a mechanism instead, and came up with, “Camels - Protect Your T-Zone”.
Once Camel decided this mechanism of T-Zone’s was worn out, they had to elaborate on the mechanism to enlarge it... and decided on this: “Nine out of ten doctors prefer Luckies”.
Once the mechanisms had lost their potency they had to take a completely new angle... so they decided to show a couple sitting together with the man lighting up a cigarette and the woman saying... “Blow Some My Way”.