Long Copy in the Era of the Twitterverse
If you watch cable TV, you very likely saw the scary commercial reproduced “IN THE NEWS” at right.
After seeing it a number of times, I figured these people were spending some serious ad money and it would be worth my while to have look. So I jotted down the URL, fired up the computer and sat back to watch.
What followed was a PowerPoint presentation that Bill Egner described in his blog:
Oh, gods! My brain feels like it is burning ... it is from giving up 77 minutes of my life watching Porter Stansberry’s online fear mongering investment services pitch!
First off a word on format; it is set up so it has to run continuously. You have no opportunity to jump ahead. The whole thing is Stansberry droning on in a voice that could put a meth addict who just snorted a whole gram of meth to sleep inside ten minutes! The only video part of this on line [sic] Sominex is text of what Stansberry is saying, with scary red lettered words here and there for emphasis.
Blogger Egner is spot-on.
Porter Stansberry’s verbal dysentery shows that he is an old time long-copy direct mail practitioner, who never learned to adapt to e-commerce.
Today’s Population of Non-Readers Makes for a Marketing Challenge
One of the greatest practitioners of advertising was copywriter Claude Hopkins (1866-1932), author of “My Life in Advertising.” In his “Scientific Advertising,” Hopkins' analysis of people and their reading habits is all the more relevant in today's dizzying multimedia world where most of the folks we want to reach are constantly connected to BlackBerrys, TVs, radios, laptops, iPhones, iPads and Twitter, as well as old-fashioned print via magazines and newspapers. Hopkins wrote back in 1923:
Always bear these facts in mind. People are hurried. The average person worth cultivating has too much to read. They skip three-fourths of the reading matter, which they pay to get. They are not going to read your business talk unless you make it worth their while and let the headline show it.
People will not be bored in print. They may listen politely at a dinner table to boasts and personalities, life history etc. But in print they choose their own companions, their own subjects. They want to be amused or benefited. They want economy, beauty, labor savings, good things to eat and wear.