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One of my favorite, long-out-of-print books is Maxwell Sackheim’s MY FIRST 65 YEARS IN ADVERTISING. In it, Sackheim said:

People go through life with their minds only half turned on, except when they’re promised an adequate reward for their full attention…. There are four ‘why’s’ to be remembered in and answered in each copywriting job:

1.  Why should anyone listen to it?

2.  Why should anyone believe it?

3.  Why should anyone do anything about it?

4.  Why should it be acted upon immediately?

Does every one of your commercials answer those four questions?

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  • Sreethi December 22, 2010, 5:15 am

    Call for Action
    Sense of Urgency

    It is amazing how the basics seldom change.

  • Anonymous December 22, 2010, 5:50 am

    Features, Advantages, Benefits (FAB) has always been a guideline for me. Yous states it as well or better.

  • scott snailham December 22, 2010, 6:21 am

    The basics never change because people never really change. You have new ways and technology to bring to people more elaborate ways to get the message out, and too often they take over and distract from the basic message.

  • adamg December 22, 2010, 1:10 pm

    Brilliance! I like that Dan..I will check that book out!
    Thinking about others first should be key anyway.
    Dan..Thanks for caring like you do and Merry Christmas to you and yours. And be careful on the roads in this weather

  • Doug December 22, 2010, 2:11 pm

    Not only for the Copywriter ,the Rep , should read it , and maybe the Client ,Quality control with commercials is sadly missing at the station i work for , gee we have some garbage on the air