This is the best headline I read all weekend.
And it wasn't in a magazine.
It wasn't on a poster.
It wasn't even on TV.
It was in a newspaper - and it wasn't an ad at all. It was a newspaper article.
And of course I want to know how to get 10% off everything (who wouldn't?) So I read on. The sub-head continued, 'Revealed: the secret online codes...'
Revealed? Secret codes? I'm salivating. I devour the rest of the article's sub-head, focusing on the words 'Christmas bargain' in particular, as well as the sentence 'but hurry, these codes don't hang around for long.
Forget formulas but just consider for a minute some of the techniques at work so far. You've got a 'How to...' headline, proven time and time again to attract readers. You've got '10% off' which tells people they're going to save money. And best of all, the headline says 'everything.' So whoever you are and whatever you're looking for, this article is going to help you nab a bargain. And who doesn't like a bargain at Christmas, with all those presents to buy.
Even better, the sub-head pulls that most powerful of buying triggers - 'exclusivity.' These codes are secret but we're revealing them.
Finally, there's a big ol' reason to act NOW - these secret passwords don't hang around for long, so you'd better hurry.
The article goes on to list specific codes for specific goods at specific prices.
I'd love to know how many sales of those items this article generated. Sackfuls, I imagine.
And not a logo in site. Front page, under the massive words 'MONEY' on the front page of the er, yes, you guessed it, Money section of the Guardian newspaper.
It made me think of the following ad I saw recently.
It was conceived by an art director called Scott Maddox. He contacted me through D&AD recently about a possible partnership. Anyway, he and his old partner were named Young Creative Team of the Year 2006 in New Zealand for the following press ad:
The copy at the bottom says 'Advertise in newspapers.'
Of course, this ad is talking about advertising in papers, rather than placing products in stories, but you get my point.
And this is one of the reasons why good PR is so important. To fly your message under your audience's advertising radar.
I'm not selling you anything. Just read this story:
How to get 10% off everything