Prepare yourself, because I’ve got a real treat for you today.
Yes, it’s that time again: it’s the next round of …
COPYWRITING FIGHT CLUB!!!
And ladies and gentlemen, do I ever have a special bout lined up for you today.
Yes, we’ve resurrected two of history’s greatest ad men for a …
FIGHT … TO … THE … DEAATHHHHHHHH!
(Well, the re-death, they’re both already dead.)
In the red corner, would you please give it up for the one … the only …
Claaaaaaaude Hopkins … the Father of Modern Ad-ver-ti-siiiiiing!!!
The crowd goes wild as a short, bald, bespectacled old man with a white moustache throws off his gown to reveal a wrinkled old torso. He boxes the air a few times and yells: “We’re gonna do this advertising match the SCIENTIFIC way, suckaz!”
(If you didn’t get that joke, I’m shaking my head sadly at you. Google him.)
And in the blue corner — challenging Mr. Hopkins for the title — we have the legendary ad man …
David … Ogilvy!!!!
And today, Ogilvy is—
Do my eyes deceive me?
No, ladies and gentlemen, David Ogilvy has rocked up to this fight in a giant … clown suit?
Well, I have seen stranger things.
And perhaps it’s appropriate, because the title of today’s fight is:
Should You Use Humour To Sell?
Ding-ding … let’s get this cage match started!
The first blow is as swift as it is brutal:
“People don’t buy from clowns!!!” snarls Hopkins, with a right hook to Ogilvy’s clown-masked head.
The crowd oohs.
But Ogilvy isn’t down. He counters with a vicious spinning kick that sends Hopkins flying:
“Maybe in your day, old man, but the rules have changed!” he booms.
(Note to reader: What, you haven’t read Ogilvy on Advertising either? Geez, all these great jokes are just flying right over your little head then, aren’t they?)
Hopkins sits there, wheezing.
Then he staggers to his feet, wipes a trickle of blood from his moustache with his glove, and sniffs.
“That all ya got, agency-boy?” he taunts. “Back in my day, we didn’t need to use cheap gags to fool people!”
With surprising speed for an old man, he runs towards Ogilvy, and fires a quick jab at his nose.
But Ogilvy ducks, and collects Hopkins with his own haymaker:
“Oh, yeah? Did you forget chapter 5 of your own book, Grandpa?” taunts Ogilvy. “’People will not be bored in print’. YOU wrote that! And I’ve read it seven times!”
Hopkins collapses with a broken rib. He groans.
Ogilvy steps over him and starts laying into him:
“I sold thousands of shirts with a man in an eyepatch!”
“Mastered the art of Facebook ads decades before Zuckerberg was born!”
“So let me tell you right now … more than ever, you can’t afford not to make people laugh!”
It’s brutal, folks!
I think we’re going to have to cut the cameras away from this one.
(Besides, what is wrong with you, you sicko? Watching a couple of old dudes beat each other up?)
Okay, so who won?
Well, you might think that because I use (lame) humour in my own emails, I’m calling it for Ogilvy.
But the reason I use humour isn’t actually to help make the sale.
In fact, I personally think you don’t want people laughing at the moment you’re asking them to click the ‘Buy Now’ button.
(A bloodied and bruised Claude Hopkins wheezes from the floor of the boxing ring: “See, I told … you … so …”)
So, why do I use humour?
Because I want something more than the immediate sale.
I don’t care if humour makes people buy or not.
It makes people READ.
And you want your readers to read, and read, and read.
And then, when they know you, and they like you, and you’ve earned their trust, they will buy.
And they’ll be a far better customer than anyone who just got pitched and bought from the first email.
I’ve watched this exact process play out over years in some very big and profitable businesses. It works better than anything else.
And you can take that to the bank …
(Just don’t wear a clown suit, or you might get arrested.)
P.S. If you’re looking for someone who can implement the above strategy in your business, hop on my waitlist over here and I’ll send you an email with next steps.
P.P.S. Did you catch all the advertising in-jokes in this email? “Reading it seven times”? Get it? 😂
If you didn’t — and you want to know how to write better ads — I recommend you read Scientific Advertising and Ogilvy on Advertising, stat …