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Copywriting and "The Force"

My inner geek re-emerged after seeing Star Wars, Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.

The original came out in 1977 before the days of VCRs and small recording devices. (By the way, the title was Episode IV – A New Hope my sons inform me. NOT Star Wars as I foolishly thought.) As a teen, I paid to sit through it 15 times. My cousin and I even snuck in a cassette player and recorded the whole movie on two 60 minute cassettes, memorizing every line. Told you I was a geek!

Watching the final installment of the series come full circle last week, I realized there are similarities to the good and evil in the world and the good and evil of creating out-of-this-world copy.

1) Like “The Force”, copy is EVERYWHERE. It is in all of your marketing and promotional materials. Whether you’re talking about emails, websites, brochures, back cover product copy, ezines, blogs, flyers, even business cards…they all rely on copy to get your message across. Obi Wan Kenobi was right when he said, “It surrounds us. It penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.” He just didn’t realize he was also talking about copy!

2) Persuasion techniques are just as prevalent in copy as they are in the old Jedi Mind Trick. Copy is salesmanship in print so naturally you need to overcome objections, put yourself in the shoes of your target market and move the prospect toward the sale. Get them thinking like you do. If they come to believe it was THEIR idea instead of yours, all the better!

3) Copy and lopped-off limbs can always be repaired. Jedi and Sith Lords have a habit of taking off one another’s limbs with light sabers. But never fear. They can be replaced with stronger, mechanical versions. Same with copy. Don’t be afraid to cut and edit your words. In the end your message can be more powerful.

4) Good copy and the Death Star pull the prospect in like a tractor beam. Whether the prospect consents or not, when the copy is on target and compelling, it should suck the reader in like it has gravitational pull. If your copy is doing the job, there is nothing else the prospect would rather do than read it right NOW. As earthling Gary Halbert put it, “Copy can never be too long. Only too boring.”

5) Just as Anakin Skywalker had a reason to turn to the Dark Side, you should have a reason “why” you’re giving such a great deal. (By the way, how hot is Hayden Christensen who plays young Darth?! Sizzling, I say!) Darth Vader didn’t become the Dark Lord because he WANTED to be evil. He had a darn good reason for turning. You, too, need to have a darn good reason why you’re making the exceptional offer you’re making. Did you make too many widgets? Are your partners coming for back pay? Do you have to liquidate your cassette product supply? Be honest, but let the prospect know “why” this deal is a no-brainer.

May “The Force” be with you.


by Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero

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