April 23rd, 2007 by Bob Bly
The school of thought that says advertising claims should be bold agreed with Samuel Johnson, who said “Promise, big promise, is the soul of an advertisement.”
But there’s an opposing school of thought that believes advertising claims should be more modest, because then, they will be more credible.
For instance, I am writing a book to explain basic chemistry concepts to high school students and parents who want to be able to help them with their homework.
Possible titles include:
A. How to make sure your child passes chemistry.
B. Make sure you child doesn’t fail chemistry!
C. Help your child get an A in chemistry.
“C” is the biggest and most positive claim. So you think it’d be best.
But at least one teacher pointed out to me: “These kids aren’t looking for an A. They are close to failing now, and if they get a C or B they will be thrilled. ”
So which title is better — A, B, or C?
Or can you help me write an even better title?
And which school of copywriting do you belong to — big promise or small but more believable claims?
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