Last week on my Facebook page I posted a brief blurb for radio copywriters.
A longtime friend of mine who’s one of the best copywriters around took exception to my advice.
It might be helpful to share with you here my original statement, my friend’s objection, my rebuttal…and an additional rebuttal for today’s readers.
The Original Radio Advertising Maxim
Radio advertising copywriters long have been told, “Don’t sell features; sell benefits.”
Don’t sell features or benefits.
Sell the results the consumer will experience by using the advertised product or service.
One Reader’s Objection
Paul Myers, a copywriting legend who’s been at it since before the invention of the written word, replied:
“The expected change in state IS the benefit, Dan. [sigh]”
My Devastating Rebuttal
No, the expected change is not the same as the benefit.
Feature: The all-new PoundsAway contains Miodyoxide-104, which speeds the human body’s metabolism.
Benefit: By increasing your body’s metabolic rate with PoundsAway, you’ll lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks.
Result: (Female) Now you can go shopping for a new bathing suit to wear at the beach this summer.*
Result: (Male) Now you won’t have to spend your entire summer vacation** holding in your stomach.
(*More than one source has explained to me that “shopping for a new bathing suit” is a far greater motivator than wearing a new bathing suit. Otherwise, I would tout the result as “now you can wear even your most revealing bathing suit on the beach.”)
(**“Vacation” is a term that few radio people will understand. If I knew what it meant, I would tell you.)
One More Feature – Benefit – Results Example
Often in my radio copywriting seminars I’ll offer this illustration….
Feature: The automobile has four doors.
Benefit: Because the automobile has four doors, it’s easier for people to get out of the backseat more easily and quickly.
Results: So when you’re picking up your kids at school, they’ll be able to climb into the backseat so fast that the impatient carpool parent behind you won’t even have the time to honk at you before you’re driving away.