How To Use Negativity In Your Copy Part 3 [Copywriting Knowhow]

In part 1 we looked at envy, in part 2 we looked at greed, so in part 3 we’ll cover the most negative emotion known to us. This is kind of sad because I’m writing this on Christmas Eve, and if anything, it should be about hope, merriness, and a brighter future.

But hey ho, we’re in negativity week, so let’s get stuck in. What’s the worst emotion we know? The emotion that causes more problems than any other? The emotion that always leads to destruction?

Well, it’s hate of course. With hate in the right amount, we can divide a world in two and conquer it with ease. We just need the people on our side (the one’s weak – or willing enough to be bent by that hate).

Every dictator that ever ruled has hate in abundance. They wield it like a two pronged fork, where one prong pretends to be love and is gently prodded into the victim, and the other is solid hate and is used to dispatch those who refuse to be prodded in the right direction.

Getting the picture? You can see how powerful a persuader this is just by taking a look at the world as it is today. More wars involving more people than ever before. More injustice (in just about every country), and more mini dictators trying to weedle their way into power than the entire previous history of the world put together.

The principle is simple. Find a group of people who want what you want, then find another group of people who don’t want what you want. Pitch the first group against the second by making up anything you like about them, then get all those in the first group to throw as many rocks as they can at the second group.

People do this in copy all the time. In fact I know plenty of pro copywriters (and copywriting gurus) who preach this too.

But we don’t have to be like that. We can sell just as much by singing the virtues of what we’re selling. And we don’t need to do it just because it’s Christmas either (or any other time of year for that matter).

So let’s leave 2020 with hope in our hearts and hate in the dumpster, and make 2021 the year of the hero.

PS. Wishing everyone a Happy Christmas and thanks for being here. Next week I will be finishing the editing process of my new book Copy for Beginners. If you don’t know about this yet, you can read along with my daily diary over here:


hate, negativity

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