Scientific Advertising: How to Stand Out With Facts
We’re all inoculated against "The Best."
Writing that you or your service are the best without data or anecdotal evidence brands you a marketing hack. "Best" and "Greatest" are at best passed over without notice. (See?) And half the time we simply won’t believe you. (Really ... exactly half the time?)
They create a negative effect on your business, as Claude Hopkins says: “They lead readers to discount all the statements that you make.” To craft advertising and messages that help you stand out, marketers learning to pen need a lesson that writers of narrative and reportage have always known…
Facts Are Interesting
Read this opening selection from "Oranges," written in 1966 by John McPhee. Note your bewilderment transform into interest. And don’t worry, I’m going to connect it to advertising:
“The custom of drinking orange juice with breakfast is not very widespread, taking the world as a whole, and it is thought to be a very American habit. But many Danes drink it regularly with breakfast and so do Hondurans, Filipinos, Jamaicans, and the wealthier citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. The day is started with orange juice in the Colombian Andes, and to some extent, in Kuwait. Bolivians don’t touch it at breakfast time, but they drink it steadily for the rest of the day. The ‘play lunch,’ or morning tea, that Australian children carry with them to school is usually an orange, peeled spirally halfway down, with the peel replaced around the fruit. The child unwinds the peel and holds the orange as if it were an ice-cream cone. People in Nepal almost never peel oranges, preferring to eat them in cut quarters, the way American athletes do. The sour oranges of Afghanistan customarily appear as seasoning agents on Afghan dinner tables. Squeezed over Afghan food, they cut the grease. The Shamouti Orange, of Israel, is seedless and sweet, has a thick skin and grows in Hadera, Gaza, Tiberias, Jericho, the Jordan Valley, and Jaffa; it is exported from Jaffa, and for that reason is known universally beyond Israel as the Jaffa Orange. The Jaffa Orange is the variety that British people consider superior to all others, possibly because Richard the Lionhearted spent the winter of 1191-92 in the citrus groves of Jaffa. Citrus trees are spread across the North African coast from Alexandria to Tangier, the city whose name was given to tangerines...”
These 266 words just taught you more about oranges than you’d ever imagined. They also give you compelling reading. You may know just as much or more about your company as McPhee knows about oranges.
If so — why do you write advertising that states your equivalent of: Oranges are the Best!