Scientific Advertising: How to Find Mr. Right
You’re standing in a crowd when you spot the man of your dreams. It’s HIM. How do you get his attention? You’ve got one chance. Squelched among strangers you exclaim in his precise direction, “Hey dreamboat! A single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife … !!!”
He looks at you and says, “You’re not from around here.”
“How did you know?” you ask in wonder.
“Because you started a conversation.”
Claude Hopkins explains: “The salesman wastes much of his time on prospects whom he can never hope to interest.” Despite being there in person, there is no way to attract the wrong handsome stranger — even when your pitch cannot be ignored.
We know advertisements are your salesmen in print. But unlike salesmen ... they can be ignored. As Howard Gossage said, people don’t read ads — people read what interest them. If your ad isn’t interesting the conversation you’re hoping to create isn’t going to happen.
So, how do you get your ad in front of an interested Mr. Right?
Keep the question and consider newspapers. They have the same problem. Most of their contents are never read by a single subscriber, Hopkins explains why: “Nobody reads a whole newspaper. One is interested in financial news, one in political, one in society, one in cookery, one in sports, etc. There are whole pages in any newspaper which we may never scan at all. Yet other people might turn directly to those pages …”
Here’s what newspapers and good ads do … they define interest using the perfect headline.
“The purpose of a headline is to pick out people you can interest, says Hopkins. “You wish to talk to someone in a crowd. So the first thing you say is, ‘Hey there, Bill Jones’ to get the right person’s attention. So it is in an advertisement. What you have will interest certain people only, and for certain reasons. You care only for those people. Then create a headline which will hail those people only.”