Science of Copywriting Weekly Newsletter Issue 44

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you’ll know I love to put together mini-series on different copywriting topics, and this week was no different – all the links are below, so if you missed any, now’s the time to read them (especially if you’ve ever been into owning an S Type Jaguar – I got over it now mum, honest).

If there’s one difference between us and the rest of the animal kingdom it’s ownership (or consumerism as it’s more generally known).

That being the case, it makes sense that it should form the centrepiece of our thinking when it comes to copy. After all, you either own it or you don’t.

Ownership gives a sense of pride, non-ownership a sense of missing out depending on your desire level (without desire there is nothing).

The rest of the animal kingdom has desires, but they’re at a more basic level (representing the first 4 of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – unless you believe Jonathan Livingston Seagull, in which case, the scientists are wrong).

So what is it about ownership that is so compelling to us? The seven deadly sins is one way of looking at it. Here they are:

1. Pride

2. Envy

3. Wrath

4. Sloth

5. Greed

6. Gluttony

7. Lust

Think of pride as status and you’ll see why it’s number one (by the way, I’m not talking about ethics here, it’s just the way we are).

Envy is right up there at number 2 because so much consumerism is driven by it (no matter how much we may be in denial).

Wrath doesn’t seem to belong at all, but wrath can drive sales just as much as any other.

The same can be said for Sloth – who doesn’t want to be paid a fortune for doing nothing?

Greed should have been number 3 on the list, as it’s the prime mover of so many things (and not just consumerism).

Gluttony is right up there too when you realise just how much food is consumed and thrown away by the populations of so-called first world countries (and why the number of fast food sites has gone up globally and exponentially).

Which brings us to Lust. Without that, there would be no dating or porn sites. There would be no infidelity, no unwanted pregnancies, and for some, probably no fun at all. On the plus side, there would be far fewer murders, no paedophiles, and churches wouldn’t be in the news so much for all the wrong reasons.

You can use any of the seven deadly sins to create hooks and angles. Just pick one and weave it into your narrative. Look at the pros and cons of each and think about how they would affect your prospect’s hopes and fears.

Think about the emotions you want to evoke to move your prospect onwards through the story to their ultimate destination – and how those emotions will change as they travel on their consumer led journey.

Last Week

If you missed last week’s posts, I’ve put the links below. It’s another of my mini-series on copywriting that I hope will help you focus on the things that matter the most. Start with VISION and end with OWNERSHIP.





With my love,
Quentin Pain
Science of Copywriting

PS. As always, don’t forget you can still join the ICA at an amazing price and get access to my 52 week mentoring and training course for copywriters – ProCopyClub. Go here to read more:



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