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The Secret Formula To Great Copy – Aaisha

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Inspired By Mad Men

While binge-watching my new favorite show, Mad Men, on Netflix, I came to many realizations. 1960’s America was a completely different world than what we see today. Especially the world of business. The war had just ended and the economy was recovering from recession. But that didn’t stop the rich from getting richer.

As the average family now had less money, they became more careful in spending it. This caused big businesses and corporations to spend a ton of money on the best advertising. Allowing top advertising firms to strive through a struggling economy.

Which now poses the question: How did Sterling Cooper remain the up and prospering advertising firm in such an economy?

Two words: Great Copy.

The most important tool in marketing is in fact, copywriting, and this is something the Mad Men knew very well. The prime focus in the Sterling Cooper office was the production of copy. And they had the Secret Formula To Great Copy. Words that sell. Psychological triggers. Imagery. Ways to invoke feelings.

In the beginning of season 2, newly promoted copywriter Peggy Olsen says “Sex sells.” to which Donald Draper raises an important argument, “You are the product. You feeling something. That’s what sells.” In other words, it is not sex that sells, but the feeling of being sexy.

According to Don, “Advertising is based on one thing: Happiness. And you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of the road that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing, it’s okay. You’re okay.”

A great copy will incite feelings and emotion. It will take you into a dream state, it will make you imagine. Happiness.

Although times have advanced, the sales tactics of today remain quite the same. We are living at the peak of a digital world. Everything is done virtually, from shopping to business transactions. Sellers nowadays use the Internet and Social Media as platforms, yet psychology, emotions, and feelings remain the key ingredients in sales.

A prime example of this are the ‘Internet-Money Gurus’. These guys have influenced people to quit their jobs and make money online. They sell a dream and people buy the dream. The online education and course industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. They are not selling a course, they are selling freedom.

This is all done through strategic copywriting. Great copywriting makes you feel something. Just as it did back then. In the 60’s it was done through poster girls in short skirts. In 2019, we see ads of thin, happy models on Instagram, selling a bikini ad. Subconsciously however, women aren’t buying a bikini, they are buying confidence. Good copywrite sells a feeling, not a product.

If you are able to make them feel something. If you are able to take them to that magical place in the mind called imagination. You’ve got great copy.

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