What You Can Learn About Selling Your Product by Watching a 60-Second Car Commercial

I graduated from the AWAI copywriting course and became a professional copywriter several years ago, my husband and I are differing more and more on our TV habits. While he prefers to watch actual programs and mute the ads, my primary interest is in the commercials. If you want to become a skilled copywriter or marketer, perhaps you should be watching commercials too. Yes, there are many commercials that aren’t worth your time, because they are just plain stupid.

And, as Michael Masterson has said many times, to be a successful, well-rounded person with a rich and rewarding life, you shouldn’t be spending your days in front of the tube. But just as you read Web copy and direct-mail packages to pick up on the emotions the writers are tapping into… you can do the same thing with commercials. If, on occasion, you look beneath the surface of television commercials, it gets interesting and informative.

Let me give you an example: a popular Mitsubishi commercial. A couple enters the dealership – looking at both cars and SUVs. You can tell by the expression on his face that the man wants a new SUV. He instantly homes in on one specific model. Now you see the look on his wife’s face. You sense that she’s unsure if they should be doing this. The husband looks around behind her back at the salesperson standing about 15 feet away, and you see the plea for help in his eyes. The salesperson points confidently to the sign that says “Best Backed Cars In The World.”

As the husband recites these words to his wife, she worries her lip with her finger and remarks, “Oh… I don’t know…” The reason she’s not being sold with this approach is because it’s appealing to her logic. And logic is not a strong buying motivator. In desperation, the husband looks to the salesperson again. This time, the salesman smiles softly and cradles his arms like he’s rocking a baby. Then he winks at the husband and gives him a nod.

Now, listen to what the man says to his wife, “You know, this is a perfect fit for that family we’ve been talking about.” That does it! Her face lights up and she throws her arms around his neck and says, “Oh, Honey!” What just happened here? He pushed her HOTTEST emotional button. She’s emotionally sold. As she’s opening all of the doors and visualizing car seats filled with children, she looks into his eyes and says impishly, “It seats five.” The logical fact that Mitsubishis are the “Best Backed Cars In The World” means something to her now. The logic that her husband first used to persuade her to buy the SUV suddenly holds a whole new meaning.

The fact that her children will be safe in this vehicle helps her rationalize their decision to buy. As we are taught in the AWAI Copywriting Course, to create advertising copy that sells, you’ve got to get to this deep emotional level in your prospects. You must figure out their emotional hot buttons and PUSH them hard. You need to create a picture your prospect can relate to.

Help her visualize the deepest emotional benefit she’ll receive by owning your product. In this case, she no longer sees an SUV… that becomes invisible. She envisions car seats filled with her children – surrounded by safety. (Ed. Note: Vicky Heron is an AWAI copywriting student based in Denton, Texas. Her website is www.copywritingspecialists.com.)