Copywriting without imagination is mere exhibitionism
If your copy doesn't affect people's feelings, it isn't communicating. It's just a bad, boring, ignorable sales pitch.
This applies to all forms of copywriting — TV ads, outdoor ads, print ads, website copywriting, promotional emails, yada yada yada.
And speaking of touching people's feelings...
In the first season of Paolo Sorrentino’s magnificent ‘The Young Pope’ HBO Series, there's this scene that moved me.
For months, Cardinal Marivaux has been trying to persuade Lenny Belardo (the Pope) to canonize the Blessed Juana.
Juana was a young girl who died of leukemia in 1980. People in Guatemala loved Juana and claimed she was a saint.
Because Juana used to visit terminally ill children in hospitals. And many of these kids were healed after hearing Juana's fairytales about the Madonna.
So Cardinal Marivaux tells the Pope another story about the Blessed Juana.
He says, "When she was 15, she went to see the children at the hospital. And always brought tangerines with her. She didn't care whether they ate them or not."
Then Cardinal Marivaux adds, "But she wanted them to peel them. And to play at squeezing the peels and spraying each other with the bright and unforgettable scents of the fruit."
Cardinal Marivaux also adds, "Then she told the children: I will go away from you. And you will go away from me. But it doesn't matter. Because all that will be left on this Earth is the scent of goodness."
The Pope, moved, replies, "I could listen for hours. This story tells us something important."
Cardinal Marivaux asks, "What?"
The Pope replies, "That goodness, unless combined with imagination, runs the risk of being mere exhibitionism."
You see, good copywriting blooms from product facts.
But copy that states facts without *any* imagination is mere exhibitionism. And exhibitionism won't impact the consumer.
Takeaways for your business:
1. Good copy is more than just stating a bunch of dull product facts in a clear way. Good copy is always based on human biases.
2. Good copy simplifies complex product facts into interesting stories. Because our brains are wired to like stories a lot more than simple facts and figures. It's human nature.
3. Good copy is copy that is a pleasure to read. Here’s lil process I use for giving voltage to product descriptions (and make them rewarding to read).
4. Good copy is copy that tells the truth about your brand or product in a way that’s never been said before.
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