Why is desperation so important? (read parts 1 and 2 first if you missed them: https://scienceofcopywriting.com/copywriting/how-to-get-attention-that-surpasses-all-competition-part-1-new-copywriting-ideas/ ).
First off, desperation is rarely talked about (instead we hear phrases like “what keeps your prospects awake at night?” and “find the pain, solve the problem” – actually, I just made that last one up, but you know what I mean).
Pain is physical (as in something keeping someone awake at night), whereas desperation is about as emotional as it’s possible to get. When we think of what keeps someone awake at night, we almost always come up with a set of problems like these – lack of money, lack of customers, lack of sales, bankruptcy, loss of business, loss of house, divorce etc.).
Whilst all these things are important, it’s not the things themselves that matter, it’s the emotions they fire up within us, and top of those emotions is desperation.
There’s a good reason for this. The definition of desperation is hopelessness. If you’ve been here for any length of time, you’ll know that the top driver of everything on the planet is the opposite of that – HOPE.
So when we get the two most important emotions on the planet working together (desperation and hope) we can create the perfect storm, which is kind of ironic since there’s a second definition of desperation, and that definition is “a strong desire for something” – as in “I’m desperate to get [insert something hopeful here]” – thus making desperation the pinnacle of everything we need to think about if we want to drive people crazy with desire.
As I write this, one story got the world’s full attention: Trump and the storming of the Capitol building. Timothy Snyder of Yale University dubbed the reason for it happening as: “The Big Lie”.
When you spend years telling your fans that something terrible is going to happen they become desperate to avoid it at all costs. Then when you dangle the carrot of hope in front of them at the last minute, they bite so hard, they nearly chew your hand off.
That’s the power the world witnessed on the 6th January 2021 in Washington DC. Desperation and Hope is a dangerous weapon.
Seen any ads recently that use desperation and hope? Please share in the comments.
PS. If any part of this post gets your goat or greases your gander, please also share below.
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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