Denny’s Daily Zinger: A Two-Word Headline That Built a Business
David Ogilvy once said, “Your headline should telegraph what you want to say-in simple language. Readers do not stop to decipher the meanings of obscure headlines.”
Remembrances of Sheldon
Many years ago I knew Sheldon Hearst, CEO of Supermarket Communications. His business model:
Giant community bulletin boards were put up near the exits of thousands of supermarkets nationwide. Here were personal ads on bright yellow cards offering baby-sitting services, used cars, church breakfasts, pets for adoption, etc.
Interspersed were racks of take-one brochures. Advertisers rented a rack and supplied the brochures. Hearst had a network of sales reps who continually serviced the racks.
The Flier Has a Nanosecond to Capture Attention
A typical shopper—whose mind was on the grocery list and picking up the kids at school—gave Hearst’s bulletin board a quick glance on the way to the parking lot.
However, imagine if a family member—child, adult or senior—was a serial bed wetter. The stink, the need to wash sheets every day and the thread of constant misery for a lifetime was a constant, nagging worry.
Aimed at the 25 million Americans who suffer from incontinence, the Center for Enuresis came up with a huge red headline: WET BED?
The words jumped out of the little take-one racks. They positively dominated the bulletin board.
[See the image in the media player at upper right.]
This headline stopped this troubled shopper cold.
The filer was control for years and was the client’s major source of leads.
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