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Storytelling That Makes A Good Selling


“Once Upon A Time……..” one of the most successful and popular opening lines never fails to grab attention. Why? Because it instantly transports you to a faraway land; sometimes believable, sometimes pure fantasy.

Stories get your mind ticking & heart racing, they create images which you identify with, they allow you to escape from routine, they can be predictable but yet soothing or they can have a twist and have your eyeballs springing out for a 100 meters.

They make you judge, think, cry, laugh, anticipate & curious.

Advertisements are no different from stories then, do you agree?

Let us see what you think at the end of this blog!

“At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock” A David Ogilvy classic. This headline puts the reader in the driver’s seat, accelerating fast and hearing nothing but the ticking of the clock. The image that this one line created is enough for people to connect and connect in a way that people remember this campaign of 1952 even today!

Descriptive copy is no longer in fashion. Sometimes even a few words are enough to grab eyeballs. Here are some tips:

  • Focus on pain points: Every choice arises out of a need and every need arises due to the lack of something. Once you get to know what people lack, half the job is done.- for eg: “Have you ever wondered what you would look like with a million dollar smile”-Gary   Halbert’s headline to advertise the work of a dentist.  He has created an image, a vision & suddenly fulfilled your need for beautiful teeth.
  • The next step is to tell the readers how a particular product will not only fulfill their need but transform their life-this is what the Rolls Royce campaign did. It introduced to them a possibility of speed without noise; something which can transform their driving experience forever!
  • Language is key especially when you need to persuade people to adopt something new in their life. Of course, your copy needs to have all the information but that information should speak to them, almost like you are conversing with them.“I don’t know the rules of grammar. If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language.” – David Ogilvy
  • For eg; the campaign Ogilvy created for Lion Matches is a clear example of simple, easy to read yet, persuasive language. The copy is written from the perspective of a Lion Match; here is an excerpt: “I’ll light anything that burns.I’m particularly good with cigarettes, cigars & pipes because my clean, clear flame is taste-free. So all you taste is the tobacco. Not me”
  • Everything from the language, structure, composition & content should communicate the brand truthfully. ‘The most powerful element is advertising is the truth”-William Bernbach. A rental car agency called Avis which was number 2 in the market was advertised by Bernbach with utter honesty and brilliant telling. The headline read, “Avis is only no.2 in rent a cars. So why go with us?” An excerpt from the copy read, “When you are not the biggest in rent a cars, you have to try harder. We do. We are only No.2.”
  • A brand narrative strikes a chord with the reader through creative elements in the writing that bring about emotional engagement but without compromising on the relevance of the product. One must be aware that an ad is helping people make conscious decisions with regard to not just making purchases but, choosing a way of life.

Storytelling in copywriting is aimed at not just creating instant engagement but something more profound like building a relationship. If you are looking for a relationship & brand loyalty you ought to be an emphatic storyteller, who not only has a way with words but a way with minds & hearts.

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