Photo by Yomex Owo on Unsplash

Great copywriting ALWAYS does this

There are a LOT of things great copywriting doesn’t have to do.

Educate. Shock. Entertain. Amuse. Delight. If it does, fine. Doesn’t have to. It just has to do ONE thing:

Appeal to the prospect’s PRIMAL INSTINCTS.

Which are ….?

I wanna live (forever, ideally). I wanna be free. I want respect. From everybody. I wanna boink.

Really, really PRIMAL.

Your copywriting HAS to appeal to at least one of those. (All, ideally.) Easy, yeah?

Why’s it so hard, then?

Because while you’re writing to appeal to your prospects’ basic instincts, your LIZARD is screaming to satisfy your OWN.

I still make this mistake. Witty, clever turns of phrase to satisfy my own urge for creative freedom …. when I SHOULD be trying to satisfy reader’s [see list].

Why Men Crack first appeared in newspapers in 1924.

Photo. Dim lighting. Older man, slumped, papers on the desk ignored. “He was such a healthy-looking man ….”

Message? You’re past it, mate. Too much caffeine and alcohol. Grim Reaper’s a-knockin’.

Introduce Postum, caffeine-free grain-based hot drink. Obtainable from Carrie Blanchard. (Surname is French, the language of….???).

“Men who have tasted Carrie Blanchard’s Postum have the habit of remembering its goodness.”

“ ‘Men have always been partial to my Postum!’

Well, hot DAMN! Where do you think THAT’S going then?

Crass? Disgusting?

Yes. And totally irrelevant. It was Young and Rubicam’s first big hit. Postum sales skyrocketed.

If you want to see the ad, DM me on Twitter. I’ll send you a downloadable copy.



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David Kimbell

David Kimbell


Curiosity. Questions. Simplicity. Principles. Meaning. The Vital Few, not the Trivial Many. Be your own Chief Questions Officer.