Direct Response Copywriting - Keep on Truckin'
Think of pickup truck advertising on TV and what comes to mind?
Macho guys heaving heavy loads onto truck beds.
Mud-splattered pickups hurtling over bumpy ground. Everything is rough, tough and buff.
This is image advertising that derives its power from imaginative identification. The emotional logic is clear: if I buy one of these trucks, I join the club. I am no longer the 15-pounds-overweight couch potato. I am the farmhand, the construction worker, the MAN.
This is nothing new. We've seen it all before.
Yet, watching a recent football playoff game, I came across a truck commercial that handled things very differently, and I think, beautifully. Here it is:
(SHOT OF HAND HOLDING BRAKE SHOE)
ANNOUNCER VOICE OVER:
"For years the front brakes on many half tons were THIS big.
(CUT TO HAND HOLDING A MUCH BIGGER BRAKE SHOE NEXT TO THE COMPETITOR'S.)
You wanted brakes THIS big. Bingo! Standard on the all new full-size Tundra. Learn more at Toyota.com."
This commercial struck me as really quite unique in the category. Instead of settling for showing the generic pickup slogging through the mud, it emphasizes a concrete, visible, palpable difference between the Tundra and other pickups. It quite brilliantly retains the macho appeal of the image ad, while differentiating the product.
To put it simply, the commercial gives the viewer an excellent REAL reason to consider the pickup. (In other ads in the campaign, the Tundra engine and transmission are also shown side by side against their puny competition.)
Bottom line? The copywriter, creating the spots for the Toyota Tundra, was thinking outside the box. Instead of producing another "me too" truck commercial, the copywriter used the old side-by-side comparison format, so beloved by packaged goods brands like Pampers and Bounty, and beautifully adapts it to pickup-truck advertising.