Nothing gets people’s attention quicker than injustice. You may think that injustice doesn’t sell, but that depends on the context.
Charities don’t think twice about it. Show a child dying from starvation and we’re on their side in a sixpence.
Or perhaps we see someone being treated unfairly and a fund is opened to help, many of us gladly contribute.
This is also why the word ‘fair’ is so powerful in negotiations. The second we bring up fairness, everyone takes sides, and that pretty much sums up what injustice is all about – It’s yet another divide and conquer strategy.
Blair Warren’s famous persuasion one-liner springs to mind:
“People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions, and help them throw rocks at their enemies.”
But to make it work, first you need to reveal the injustice. Luckily, this is usually simple.
Most people can’t stand it when the undeserving get lucky (we may pretend it’s OK, but under the hood, most of us harbour a little resentment).
If you’ve been in copywriting for a few years, and you’re still being paid peanuts, then some blow-hard appears from nowhere claiming to be a 7 figure copywriter, you’re going to feel a little peeved (I know I did).
But that’s OK. We know they cheated, and we can too if we really wanted. Anyone can rob a bank if they don’t care about the risks. But we’re better than that.
We can use injustice, curiosity, anger, controversy, or any of a whole bunch of other angles to get attention instead, and with that we’re off to the races.
Speaking of which, that’s where we’ll go next.