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DM Tips #17 - Copy Power!___August, 2002

Published as a resource for your direct marketing work. Depend on FCC for imaginative, results-producing creative work, including direct mail - web - e-mail - ads - more! http://www.fried-cas.com --ininfo@fried-cas.com


--Copy Power! Transforming 97-pound weaklings

- Fried-Cassorla to teach Advertising at Temple U.

- PDMA events to be held on September 19th

--Photos - beautiful views of New York City

--Poem - Two Things I Saw Today

--Humor - Labrador Retriever



Dear Friend,

--NBWords still count in direct marketing. Let's make every one we use important and convincing (see first article below).... September once again means "school" to me, and you will soon see why. Have a beautiful end-of-Summer!


Four 97-pound weaklings transformed before your eyes!

by Albert Fried-Cassorla

We all need to beat MEGO (My Eyes Glaze Over).That's the essential challenge we face in an


overheated, over-informed advertising and D.M. world.

To do it, the talented copywriter must know how to use all of the tricks in his magic bag. Because… and pardon me if I shout… IF YOU LOSE ATTENTION, YOU LOSE THE SALE.

Now let's look at a few 97-pound weakling ads and see if we can strengthen them by applying time-honored principles of effective copywriting. By the way, "97-pound weakling" is a phrase from an ancient, classic Charles Atlas body-building D.M. ad that ran for decades. The specificity of "97" as opposed to round numbers like 100 or 110 helped give it credibility.

Now on to the ads…Occasionally, I give design revisions, too. This selection happens to all be of print ads.

1. Use the active voice

This ad for an upscale wristwatch has no verb:


A symbol of unending love

The ad had no human element--- just a product shot. Simply using a verb adds a degree of strength. Also, nobody likes a symbol that calls itself by that name. Instead, let's emphasize the giver's generosity, as in:


Give a Tacori

and give unending love.

This new headline flatters the reader's sense of himself as being generous. To boost imagery, we might add a pair of hands, one the giver, the other the recipient.

2. Shout pleasure! (And run from boredom!)

Boredom is the cardinal sin of advertising. Avoid it! In this trade, nothing is worse than going unnoticed.

As an example, let's look at an ad for Le Nature's Ice Water with twist of Lime. The imagery used is an icy drink and a lime.

Current headline:

"Water please. With lime!"

The writer uses features, not benefits, which is always a mistake. There's no inherent benefit to the end-user in water or lime. So here's a re-do:

"Ahhh! Refreshing lime!"

Lime pleasures from Le Nature

To boost the imagery, I'd consider "drawing" a smile on the glass's condensation. Or we could show happy people drinking, whether in the foreground or background.

Here is an entirely different approach:

Life's hot.
Lime's cool.

Indulge in Lime pleasures from Le Nature

For graphics, we could show a beating sun bearing down on a parched wayfarer on one side of the ad, and someone rising out of a pool on the other side. The swimmer reaches for a glass of the refreshing beverage.

Notice that my re-do mentions the brand or product name in the headline. It's often wise to do this. After all, the reader may never get very far into your ad. At the very least, tell him what it is you're advertising in the first sentence.


3. Convey in-group exclusivity

A product name is not a headline. And to ignore the power of a great brand like The New Yorker magazine is a sin. It has great cachet that should be played upon.
Festival Wire is a series of New Yorker magazine-sponsored events. It features discount coupons, e-mailed alerts and more.

Here's the current headline in an ad running within The New Yorker itself:

The New Yorker's Festival Wire

That's only a product name. Now, a re-do:

Your exclusive ticket!

Only from The New Yorker

In one fell swoop, we've launched in-group exclusivity while preserving brand-name appeal.


4. Avoid corporate-speak

A B2B ad for a telemarketing company shows a smiling tele-rep wearing a head-set. The headline says:

Maximize the value of
every customer contact.

Now it's true that this headline makes sense. But sensibility does not equal high impact. The problem here is that "maximize" is a deadly boring word. It sends the average reader's MEGO into overdrive -- and on to the next page. Here is my fix:

[image: male or female exec leaping and almost hitting the ceiling with excitement. The exec is reacting to a graph on a computer that shows spiking sales]

Profitable telemarketing that'll make you jump.
(Wear your helmet.)

Doesn't that score higher on the attention-meter? The current ad's body copy compounds its crimes by trucking with words like "utilizing" and "offer-optimization." That's just more corporate-speak that puts readers to sleep.

To be successfully rewritten, the ad text should instead use a fact-based case history that shows a specific dollar amount increase in sales achieved per call. Name names. Give dates and specifics. In short, convince the reader that you're not just blowing smoke. Alas, this takes spade work. Many writers and clients are loath to till the soil that yields believable stories.

But work and thinking must be done, if we wish to persuade.


* * *

Find out how Fried-Cassorla Communications has used direct mail, e-mail and other media to achieve spectacular results! Visit www.fried-cas.com -- read our Success Stories on our work for Merck & Company, UNISYS, GMAC, CIGNA, Scott Paper Company and others ! Then contact us at info@fried-cas.com to see how we can help you with your challenges!


Add muscle to your direct response creative work!

Let us help boost your response with powerful copywriting and design! Contact Fried-Cassorla Communications, Inc. now at 215-635-5189 (USA) or info@fried-cas.com 


Fried-Cassorla to teach Advertising at Temple University

Melrose Park, PA - This Fall, Albert Fried-Cassorla will teach Introduction to Advertising to at Temple University's Main Campus. This is the third semester in which he has taught the course, which includes a substantial direct marketing component.

People who have guest-lectured at Albert's course in past semesters have included: JoAnn Alberts, American List Counsel, on lists and databases; Damon Alberts, Center City Video, on TV Production; Don Draper of Rapid Data on e-commerce, and Lisa Donnelly, of Roska Direct, on media buying. Students have also written on DM topics for this newsletter. If you believe you have a specialty of interest to students, contact Albert at 215-635-5189. Course info is available at http://www.fried-cas.com/Temple

Fried-Cassorla Communications, Inc. is a full service advertising agency specializing in direct marketing, electronic marketing, e-mail, and web design. Since 1988, the company has generated over $220 million in sales for such prestigious clients as Merck & Co., UNISYS, GMAC, CIGNA, and firms of every size.

02:6 __________________________# # #



Spin4fun uses humor to build customer databases.

Innovative Spin4fun game gets over 400 leads for Wildwoods Convention Center

A powerful new marketing tool devised by MAC DIRECT has shown excellent early results. The firm is a direct marketing services company. In a recent use of this online game by Wildwoods Convention Center, over 400 leads were generated. This story was recently written up by Ken Magill in DM News. To see the story, visit http://www.dmnews.com and search for Spin4fun.

To receive a PIN number and see for yourself how this personalized, database-building game works, write to me at albert@fried-cas.com.I_I'll see that you get one!

Need help with your e-mail campaign?
Let us help you turn pixels into profits! Call Fried-Cassorla Communications at 215-635-5189 or e-mail info@fried-cas.com!

Poem: Two Things I Saw Today

What do you make of the sights you see in everyday life? Walking? Jogging? Here's what I saw one day.


Philadelphia Direct Marketing Association presents Council and Dinner Meeting events on Wednesday, Sept. 19th

The PDMA gets back into full-scale educational operations this September! The combined Database and Creative Council meetings will feature speakers presenting different views on how to get direct marketing work accomplished. It all happens at the DoubleTree Guest Suites in Plymouth Meeting, PA. The dinner meeting will focus on the Best of the Benny Awards. For more information and to register, go to www.The-PDMA.org. Choose any entrance and go to Meeting Information. It should be an exciting session, with quality information and good people to meet. See you there!



Photos of New York City!

This month, I have just a handful of photo for you -- six to be exact. But I think you'll like them!

Views include: Carnegie Hall, Central Park Lake, a Chelsea scene, and the George Washington Bridge and more. On my artistic site, I you may also want to visit special sections on the Museum of the Moving Image, and more.



WeekendinFlorence.com smooths your journey to Florence!

Planning a trip to the attractions of Florence? Save up to 3 hours of waiting by visiting www.weekendinflorence.com See Michelangelo's David, and the Uffizi Gallery in style and without the hassle.

Business editors, explore the many interesting facets of this unusual web site and catalog. Contact me at albert@fried-cas.com for great story ideas.


 When you need help with your direct mail campaign, who ya gonna call?

We've helped many companies successfully reach B2B and consumer markets with our power-packed direct mail. See the Success Stories on our web site, or even better... give us a call! 215-635-5189 (USA) or info@fried-cas.com





HUMOR: "A man brought his very limp dog to the veterinary clinic...."

As he lay the dog on the table, the doctor pulled out his stethoscope, placing the receptor on the dog's chest.

After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said, "I'm sorry, but your dog has passed away."

"What?" screamed the man. "How can you tell? You haven't done any testing on him or anything. I want another opinion!"

With that, the vet turned and left the room. In a few moments, he returned with a Labrador Retriever. The Retriever went right to work, checking the poor dead dog out thoroughly.

After a considerable amount of sniffing, the Retriever sadly shook his head and said "Woof."

The veterinarian then took the Labrador out and returned in a few moments with a cat, who also checked out the poor dog on the table. As had his predecessors, the cat sadly shook his head and said, "Meow." He then jumped off the table and ran out of the room.

The veterinarian handed the man a bill for $600. The dog's owner went nuts. "$600! Just to tell me my dog is dead? This is outrageous!"

The vet shook his head sadly and explained. "If you had taken my word for it, it would have been $50, but with the Lab work and the cat scan....."



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Fried-Cassorla Communications, Inc.
"Imaginative Direct Marketing and Advertising"

e-mail: albert@fried-cas.com Discover resources for marketers at
www.fried-cas.com ---phone: 215-635-5189 fax: 215-635-0461

© Copyright 2002 by Fried-Cassorla Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.