Denny’s Daily Zinger: Are All Politicians Consummate Jerks?

An email from Marjorie Somebody.

Marjorie Somebody's word count.

I received a campaign pitch from Marjorie Somebody during the holidays. She’s running for Congress in a district other than my own.
[Illustration 1 in the media player at right] is what arrived in my inbox.

Rules Broken by Marjorie Somebody

  • “Avoid gray walls of type.” —David Ogilvy
  • Marjorie Somebody is poaching for cash in my representative’s territory.
  • Marjorie Somebody did not say which political party she belongs to.
  • Marjorie Somebody did not reveal her last name.

A contribution by Scott Huch to my new book, “Write Everything Right!” (Opens as a PDF.)

As an aspiring, young direct mail copywriter in the early 1990s, I clipped an item from my local newspaper. It has been taped to my desk—right next to my computer—ever since. It is now tattered and yellow. But I keep it there as a reminder any time I’m writing. It says:

Tests have shown that a sentence of eight words is very easy to read; of 11 words, easy; of 14 words, fairly easy; of 17 words, standard; of 21 words, fairly difficult; of 25 words, difficult; of 29 or more words, very difficult; so this sentence with 54 words, counting numbers, is ranked impossible.

[Illustration 2 in the media player at right] is the text of Marjorie Somebody’s message with word counts.

More rules Broken by Marjorie Somebody

  • Two sentences of 62 words each.
  • One sentence of 41 words.
  • One sentence of 39 words
  • One sentence of 33 words
  • Marjorie Somebody’s campaign pitch is ranked impossible to read.

Denny Hatch is a copywriter, designer and direct marketing consultant. Click on the title below to read the first three chapters of his recent bookWrite Everything Right!” No cost. Contact him at dennyhatch@yahoo.com.

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

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Comments
  • John

    Marjorie Somebody didn’t give her party affiliation because her party is not real popular with American voters right now. I’m seeing the same type of party-less advertising in South Dakota.

  • Tom

    Do you want to know what’s impossible to read? Anything displayed in your "media player."