November 19

Copywriting 101: The Glorious Benefits of Smoking

  • Minutes Read

Copywriting 101 - The Glorious Benegits Of SmokingIf you’re selling something and finding that you aren’t getting the conversions you should be, maybe you’re concentrating too much on the features of your product and not enough on the benefits. When you sell the features you are selling the steak and not the sizzle. Good salespeople don’t sell products; they sell customers on the idea of what the product is going to do for them.

Take the tobacco industry for an example. Their products are cigarettes, and when they advertise them they are selling the benefits and not the features. The benefits of cigarettes are that they can portray the user as cool, rebellious, and rugged, “sexy”, sophisticated, etc.

Joe Camel has been charged with trying to get kids to think smoking is cool, with his sunglasses and the fact that he is a cartoon. You can see this in films of the sixties and seventies, the leading man always had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. This was not by accident; product placement in film has been around for as long as there has been film.

Another “benefit” of cigarette smoking is that it lowers blood pressure and gives the brain a slight euphoria. If you are old enough to remember any of the advertisements from the seventies, they quite often showed folks relaxing while having a smoke.

If the tobacco companies would have concentrated on the “features” during the years when advertising for tobacco was more common, chances are there would be very few brands available today.

The features of cigarettes are that they smell bad, they contain fiberglass in the filters, and they contain tar and nicotine, they’re a sure way to die a slow, miserable death and they effectively screw up the environment. Not very appealing.

Would YOU buy that?

Of course not.

It’s the same for any product. It’s fine to describe a feature, but if you don’t tell the potential customer what the benefits of the feature are…and how it is going to affect their life, you may as well be reading to them out of the phone book.

Features are the nuts and bolts of a product, but benefits are what get the customer to buy.

Tell a non-smoker if he buys a pack of cigarettes he’ll be inhaling tar, his clothes will stink and he’ll slowly kill himself – he probably isn’t going to try them. But tell him he will fit in better, look cool and rugged and possibly get laid…then you’ve got a lifetime customer!

Focus on BENEFITS!


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