Copy cannot create desire for a product. It can only take the hopes, dreams, fears and desires that already exist in the hearts of millions of people, and focus those already- existing desires onto a particular produce
Let me repeat. This mass desire must already be there. It must already exist. You cannot create it. and vou cannot fight it. But you can—and must—direct it, channel it. focus it onto your particular product.
What Is This Mass Desire—and How Is It Created?
It is the public spread of a private want.
It is the moment alien a private desire is shared by a statistically significant number of people, large enough to profitably repay selling these people, that a market is born.
advertising thus commands an economicforce hundreds of times more poiveifnl Hum the mere number of dol- lars that the advertiser can spend on it. This is the Amplification Effect of successful advertising—the reason that $1 spent on such advertising can create 850 or even 1000 in sales.
But this Amplification Effect takes place only when advertising exploits already-existing desire.
He must rely on forces far greater than any advertising budget to build this mass desire.
Mass Instinct. The desire of women to be attractive, or men to be virile, or men and women both to keep their health.
His job is to distinguish his product from the others that were there before it—to create a fresh ap- peal—to build a stronger believabilitv—to shift desire from the fulfillment offered by one product to that offered bv another. How this is done, we shall see in a moment.
A mass technological problem.
Relevision reception, or corroding automobile mufflers, or the time it takes for aspirin to bring relief. Until the problem is finallv solved, the customers will buy and try—buy and try again.
How to Channel Mass Desire Onto Your Particular Product
The copy writer in his work uses three tools: his own knowl- edge of people’s hopes, dreams, desires and emotions; his client’s product; and the advertising message, which connects the two.
Choose the most powerful desire that can possibly he ap- plied to your product.
Every mass desire has three vital dimensions. The first is ur- gency, intensity, degree of demand to be satisfied.
But only one can predominate; onlv one can reach out through your headline to your customer
Your choice among these alternate desires is the most important step yon will take in writing your ad.
To sum up the first stage then, you trv to choose the mass desire that gives you the most power in all three dimensions. You try to tap a single overwhelming desire existing today in the hearts and minds of millions of people who are actively seeking to sat- isfy it at this verv moment.
Acknowledge that desire—reinforce it—and/or offer the means to satisfy it—in a single statement in the headline of your ad.
If he is aware of vour product, and re- alizes that it can satisfy his desire, vour headline starts with vour product. If he is not aware of your product, but only of the de- sire itself, your headline starts with the desire. And, if he is not yet aware of what he really seeks, but is concerned only with a general problem, your headline starts with that problem and crys- tallizes it into a specific need.
your headline—though it mav never mention your product—is the first vital step in recognizing this mass de- sire—justifying and intensifying it—and directing its solution along one specific path.
And then you take the series of performances that are built into your product—what your product does—and you show your prospect how these product performances inevitably satisfy that desire. Here’s how:
The Analysis of Your Product: What It Is—and What It Does
In reality, every product vou are given to sell is actually two products. One of them is the physical product—the steel, glass, paper or tobacco that the manufacturer has shaped into a par- ticular pattern, of which he is justly proud. The other is the func- tional product—the product in action—the series of benefits that vour product performs for vour consumer, and on the basis of which he buys vour product.
The most important is what it does.
What they are reallv paying you for is what the product will do.
No one will buy the size of vour clients plant, the weight of vour client’s steel, the care of vour client’s construction. All these facts can only be used, later on. to document and reinforce the primary performance that vou promise your reader in your headline, in the following wavs:
By justifying your price.