David Ogilvy’s Guide To Writing Ads Explained Part 27

You’ll come across an amazing copywriting tip every now and again that gives you that wonderful AHA moment, then promptly forget about it and carry on as usual.

That’s a basic pattern of life, which for most people, quickly becomes a habit. If you’ve ever suffered from shiny object syndrome, you’ll know it well.

Breaking the habit is easy, all we have to do is take action. Ha! – how many times have you heard that.

And yet despite the obvious truth, we carry on getting aha moments, and carry on carrying on as usual.

This is the golden nugget all internet marketers rely on. Getting us interested in something new, selling it to us, then getting on with creating the next new thing to sell us. And in doing so, they enforce our habit further.

David Ogilvy’s element 27 is a classic example of the above (and since it was written in the 1960s, it just confirms that this idea is as old as the hills).

But if you only read Ogilvy’s original words, you may not recognise the hidden pattern I’ve been talking about, because his message is simple – “it pays to put something newsworthy in your headline”.

He called this new method “informative advertising”, but instead of taking credit for it, he blamed it on economists (even mentioning that Russia thought it was good – and since this was during the cold war, he was really saying “look, even the enemy agree”).

PS. We’re not talking about press releases (never try to sell in a press release), just simple advertising. You could even use the word ‘new’ to make it ‘newsworthy’ and it would work, because ultimately ‘new’ gives us hope (and that’s what every shiny object seller’s purpose is – to sell hope).

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