The topic of this mini series is on mood. If we’re in the mood to do something, there’s a good chance we’ll do it, but it doesn’t take much to change that mood and ruin a deal.
Likewise (and more to the point here), if it really doesn’t take much to change a mood from good to bad, then it follows it shouldn’t take much to change it from bad to good. But is that true? Is it easier to go from good to bad than from bad to good?
It’s actually much harder. The problem copywriters have is not from bad to good but from uninterested, highly skeptical or unbelievable to good (it’s a many to one problem).
But here’s a question, do people buy things when they’re NOT in a good mood? The not obvious answer is they do, but it’s rare and only works when the need is urgent and there’s no other choice.
Our giant corporations know this well. They understand urgency and scarcity like no other. They know they can get away with sloppy customer service, automated (or non existent) phone lines, and exorbitant pricing if they dominate the markets (ie. they become monopolies).
Governments and all authoritarian regimes know it too. If we vote in a government with a large majority for 4 or 5 years, we can expect (and usually get) a mini dictatorship. This is what we’re buying into whenever we vote (even though we’re sold it on the promise of democracy – government by the people for the people etc.).
This is the real reason unique selling propositions (USPs) work. It’s not that we necessarily have something unique, it’s that we have the monopoly on a commodity.
Let’s jump back to the brain again (see the earlier parts of this mini series if you’ve not read them yet). The right side of the brain is the Big Picture side of our personalities. People who tend to see the whole rather than the minutiae.
You might think these people are more optimistic (after all, when people talk about ‘blue ocean’ or ‘big picture’ thinking, it’s done in a positive way). But you’d be wrong. Left brain thinking people hold the monopoly on optimism according to studies from neuroscience.
This is because they’re more capable of using their left brains to figure out solutions to problems. For example, if a dominant right brained thinking person is fearful of an Armageddon style future, it will start to dominate their thinking, and depression will follow.
Whereas a left brained dominant person will go through a series of logical thoughts and figure out how to escape it (or what to do if they can’t), thus relieving the pressure.
With that done, new instructions can then be sent to the creative right brain to imagine what our new future will look like.
What has all this got to do with copywriting? It tells us we need to paint a bright future (right sided brain food), then support it with enough detail (left sided brain food) to convince prospects this is exactly what they want. Do that and you win.
PS. I’ve devoted a whole chapter to moods and the brain in “Copy for Beginners” out early 2021. Read along with my day to day diary here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xns1095JQL5oX3a_ljf0TUSiAKOA15-_jtmrSacsnqc/edit?usp=sharing
I've spent my working life starting and running a whole variety of businesses, from my first QPL Express Couriers where I travelled over 100,000 miles every year delivering packages on a motorcycle (along with a whole bunch of colleagues) to Accountz.com which made a major in-road in the UK, to ProofMEDIA my current business that focuses on Copywriting and the International Copywriters Association, which helps copywriters learn more about copywriting and the copywriting industry around the world.
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