So the London 2012 Summer Olympics are over…
…and by all accounts have been a great success.
I confess that I’m not a great sports fan…
…but once I started watching some of the events was quickly drawn in!
As a strong advocate of event-driven marketing, you might be wondering why I haven’t been furiously posting over the last couple of weeks with Olympic-linked themes.
Well…I’ve been furiously busy on client-linked work…
…plus I’ve spent more time than I ought on watching the games.
But, here are some points that struck me that are worth keeping in mind to boost your copywriting…
1) The Power Of Emotion In Copywriting
Yes, I know we all know this…people buy primarily for emotional reasons and then justify the purchase with logic. Not for nothing does my good friend copywriter Pete Godfrey make a point of describing our craft as “Emotional Direct Response Copywriting”.
However, it’s all too easy to lose sight of this.
Watching the Olympics I was struck by just how much raw emotion was on display…and how the audience connected with that emotion. I confess I was moved to tears on more than one occasion.
It’s this emotional charge that draws people to events like this and, of course, why we pay entertainers so much…to make us FEEL (good, of course).
Now, it’s a bit of stretch that a piece of copy is going to bring a lump to the throat or a swelling of pride in the chest…
…but you need to make some sort of emotional connection in your copy to get people to take action.
The great John Carlton observes that most people live “lives of quiet desperation”. In offering solutions to a problem they might be facing, you can add some value and meaningful emotion to their lives.
Remember that HOPE (for a better life in some fashion) will be a big part of what you’re providing in many cases.
2) The Power Of Patriotism In Copywriting
My goodness, you couldn’t watch any coverage of the London Olympics and not notice the extraordinary and fervent patriotism of the home crowd. This in a country that has a reputation for being somewhat reserved and in the past a little reluctant to “fly the flag”.
And it wasn’t just the home crowd. At every event you could see the flags of competing nations…and when the incredible Usain Bolt was on the track you might almost have thought the event was taking place in Jamaica.
Patriotism and love of country has been unfashionable and frowned upon by the political and chattering classes over the last few decades.
The London Olympics is a reminder of the enduring pride and love most people have for their home and country. If it’s appropriate, tap into this…
…but do so for the right reasons.
Remember Samuel Johnson’s observation…
“Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”
…and all too many scoundrel politicians are currently providing an excellent demonstration of that!
3) The Power Of Stories In Copywriting
Part of the appeal of watching the athletes and the competitions are the stories of the individual athletes and their journey to the games.
The classic “triumph over adversity” story has been seen over and over again. Stories of athletes missing previous games through injury…
…or suffering injury just months before the games but coming back.
And, let’s face it, just to get to the games involves a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication that most people couldn’t imagine putting themselves through.
Think of the “Rocky” movies and the training sequences!
Stories are a powerful device to use in copywriting…
…but of course they need to be the right kind of stories that hold attention and include drama.
The “rags to riches” or “triumph over adversity” or “hero’s journey” template is one of the most powerful and these Olympics have provided a reminder of the appeal of such stories.
So 3 points to keep in mind to connect with your audience and add impact to your copywriting.
As if to illustrate my point about stories, here’s what’s described as a “fairy tale” about…