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Dopamine, and a foundation of WHY. You can benefit.
Eight years ago I made a discovery in the basement of Green Tree Press in Erie PA. It was right after Dien had left, and we were excited about his book to be published.
The discovery was life changing.
It was an ad written by Bud Weckesser. But he had written some notes on the ad, notes the kind of which I had never seen before on anyone's copy. I was puzzled and wasn't sure what they meant. I knew Bud was a communications genius, a professor at Universities.
But these notes were way out in left field.
He had written these words over the ads: Oxytocin/Empathy. Dopamine/Anticipation. And at the start of the ad it looked like, "if they accept this definition, they buy" as best as I could read it. He liked to scribble and so I won't swear to what was written.
Now this ad was in an archive section in the basement, along with ads from 20 years prior and CASSETTE tapes Bud had made on mailorder. Most of these were copies of copies, kept separate from the upstairs archives.
Now I've been a student, albeit a casual one, of neuroscience and brain chemistry for many years and was familar with the chemicals, heck, we've talked about them here before in relation to Frank Rudolph Young.
And I consider myself to be knowledgable about Copywriting and salesmanship in print since it has been a life long course of study. But I've never connected the dots (up til then) about what was happening in my prospect's brain from a more chemical/scientific approach.
I knew that metaphors and story telling were ideal ways to get inside the head of your prospect, yet I never really considered what the chemisty was while they were reading/hearing/seeing the promotions.
Bud Weckesser apparently knew and considered this and perhaps it was one element which made him so successful.
The ad had sold millions of dollars worth of a book, had made the author, whom Dien and I met and had dinner with, a writer who made nearly a million dollars in royalties.
NOW, after analyzing it in traditional ways, I saw how it was more "constructed" than I originally thought. It was planned.
Sure, most great copy elicits emotions, and gets a reaction but I have never seen anyone talk or teach about what chemicals were being released in the prospect's mind to get them to the buying point, I was aware of the FEELINGS, but not the underlying reasons why those feelings were evoked.
Blair Warren teaches in his amazing classic, THE FORBIDDEN KEYS, a concept of:
Get them to accept your definition of the problem and then it is easier to get them to accept your solution.
Well, Bud Weckesser obviously knew this and used metaphors and story telling to do it.
Now, for some practical understanding. Glenn Osborn is a NLP master. He has worked with some of the brightest minds in marketing.
The reason why a big red nose gets positive attention, is due to the laughter and the release of endorphins and especially dopamine in the brain.
The reason why giving out scratch off lottery tickets is so effective, is it breaks the daily mundane, where just below the surface most people have anxiety waiting for them, the anxiety is at the ready to be brought to conscious awarenesss at any given unoccupied moment of thought.
The sudden gift, releases dopamine, and anticipation builds up and when it is a part of an ongoing strategy, well as you are reading, the results can be astounding.
This may seem too advanced for those of you who just want to make some extra money, but I will say this, if you take some time to understand WHY these things work, be they a cartoon in an ad, or a metaphor, or a scratch off lottery ticket.
Your understanding will be a foundation you can build a framework around and it will help you to focus on becoming more efficient, effective and essentially a more profitable marketer.
PS. If anyone wants a link to the ad, shoot me an email, I'll send you a link. Also, mind chemistry is much more complicated than this over simplification, but it is useful when trying to persuade someone or influence them to get to know why their state of mind is important and any little nudge in that direction may be the tipping point.
Last edited by GordonJ : January 12, 2018 at 01:28 PM.
Happy New Year Gordon,
I would LUV to see a copy of the Ad That Grossed m*illions in book S*Ales.
Gary Halbert Taught me Copywriting.
He went to Great Lengths to Shock or Surprise readers - right up front.
Starting BEFORE the headline.
With a 1.00 Bill Attn Grabber.
Gary never explained.
But - Don't You Think - on a Dopamine Pleasure Brain Drug Level
that Stapling a 1.00 bill at the top of a letter is SAYING...
YOU ARE IMPORTANT! (Endorphin trigger)
"Excuse me for interrupting your day.
"As a Thank U Reward for Taking your Valuable Time to read my letter.
"Here is a 1.00 Bill Tip.
1.00 bill and Lotto ticket tipping of Your Waitress is Great Practice
for Successful COPYWRITING - I Believe - is that you get to Get a FEEL for the
EMOTION that you Trigger in your waitress.
By Surprising her and TIPPING her BEFORE the meal.
During the meal.
After the meal.
You KNOCK her out of her BORED STATE of mind into a SMILE/LAUGH/
GIGGLE Emotion created by those Brain Endorphins you speak about.
THEN when you are Writing - YOU KNOW the kind of Emotion
you want to Create with WORDS - Because you Were able to EMPATHICALLY
feel the effects - face to face.
Last edited by Glenn : January 12, 2018 at 02:30 PM. Reason: loops
I'm a big fan of Bud Weckesser's ads... They're awesome. And proven effective.
He was also great at using curiosity, in my opinion...
I've read somewhere or other that people get more dopamine from the anticipation of getting something, than the reward itself.
It's like planning the holiday could be more rewarding than the holiday itself!
...What other wisdom have you been hiding from us, Gordon?
You mean, hiding in plain sight? But somewhat cryptic?
You are 100% right, ANTICIPATION. The thrill of getting the package from Amazon. The waiting for it. In writing copy, I prefer the BRIDGE approach.
You are on this side, but across that bridge is YOUR answer. Remember the ad with Mary doing something, and it asked what is this woman doing? YES, a very curious attention getting ad and we belive Dan Kennedy said it was his favorite Weckesser ad too, and the letter from the lady accusing them of strangling an owl was a real hoot to boot.
Anyhow, recently there was a discussion on Facebook group re: twitter remarks on the use of syllables and such.
WE have discussed this decade ago,
Poetry. Witty words. Sing song sounds. Allegorical alliteration.
I like to investigate the WHY. I think much of what is written about copy writing from some of the old masters, just isn't true any more.
And as I read some 40 years ago about Multiplied Nerve Gap power, with some skepticism, lo and behold, the neuroscientists have actually proved some of these "new Age" or what we call Woo-Woo types
to have been right.
Frank Rudolph Young's study into brain chemistry had a lot of speculation, only recently have they been able to confirm that INDEED, positive thinking does accelerate the jump from axon to dendrite.
We have a huge library of how the brain works, but the literature on using it for persuasion and influence is almost all anecdotal.
I have always wanted to know whey the 95% did NOT BUY, albeit, a fortune may have been made from the 5% who did. Only Dan Kennedy has really given us much in the way of number of attempts to the NO, and that is, in my opinion, very anecdotal and specific to the list...I want bigger answers, although they seldom add to the bank account, but they do add to my satisfaction and happiness.
We have discussed why alliteration works. Why the brain thinks in 3, why the Toastmasters and Great Orators teach the 3...Friends, Romans and Countrymen.
Why using known meter, and even allegory (my fav) in story telling gets right to the brain.
We've really discussed this, unfortunately, unless someone sees an immediate financial benefit, they tend to leave this kind of knowledge alone.
Too bad, cause some of these guys who were exposed to this stuff a decade ago are still struggling, whereas, a handful of people ASKED the follow up questions, did they get beyond the cryptic message to the kernel of knowledge they could use, the kernel they could plant, grow and have a harvest of happiness from.
KNOWING how the brain works, is a part of it, and not necessary at all...but knowing how PLUS applying and using what you know, is a powerful combination.
Most of us, unfortunately FORGET to use what we already know.
No secrets here, all the cards have been put on the table.
The wrong question to ask vs the right one.
The wrong question to ask is: how did you (or he/she) do it?
Bettter question: How can I do it?
BAD answer: do what I did. The GURU stand-by, but, alas, I did what Jack, Arnold and Tiger did, but I still played lousy golf, but man could I putt.
BEST QUESTION. How can I do it, considering my personality, strengths and weaknesses?
The highway is littered with the broken dreams of people who tried to do it exactly as their guru did.
Joe Sugarman Agrees with You Gordon
The last time I spoke to Joe in Hawaii.
Dunno if Joe still lives in Hawaii - been a while.
***I wanted to B*uy some more Bat Man Credit Cards. But Joe needed them
for a Project.)
Joe said, "In my Experience it's no longer Possible to Succeed by Copying a
mentor. In fact You cannot even Copy your OWN Success. I've had seminars
FAIL when I tried to Imitate a Previous Success."
Joe went on to say that the accelerated pace of change means we have to
Do Research, do testing and Take Action ALMOST SIMULTANEOUSLY.
Because Our Culture Changes SO FAST that our Research and Testing
Are No Longer Accurate.