Drama is the usage of storytelling to create a mental image in the minds of the audience.
There is a gatekeeper in our human brains.
The Wizard of Ads calls this gatekeeper, Broca.
Broca doesn’t like to be bored.
She will not allow messages through to your brain unless she is stimulated.
You can trick her by being new, exciting, or different.
If you’re trying to sell something, the usage of story has the power to pull the audience into your world.
J. Peterman did it for years in his catalogues and you can too.
Here’s how J. Peterman uses drama for selling a pair of pants.
A hurricane with gusts of eighty miles per hour tears through New York.
A crowd gathers to watch New York’s first skyscraper collapse.
The architect climbs up the scaffolding of the building.
Despite the hurricane, he reaches the top, jumps to his feet, waving his hat in triumph.
A gust knocks him over, skidding him to the edge of the scaffold.
At the very last moment, he grabs a rope and saves himself.
After climbing down he calmly stated, “The building stood as steady as a rock in the sea.”
Men’s Pure Wool Pants (No. 4898). Finely woven. A slightly bolder pattern than typical wool pants. Requires no exceptional acts of courage to wear. Looks particularly dashing with a black turtleneck. Classic fit, two front pleats. Lined to knee. Made in Portugal.
Please allow an additional 2-3 business days for alterations.
Tell a story, no different than when you were 10 years old.
You told anyone who would listen.
Your eyes widened and your words sped up with excitement.
You captured ears and attention. Not because of the wild story but because of the way you told it.
I wrote an ad to sell a used blender on Kijiji.
The story is true, but the edges are embellished.
Aline and I used to make rum daiquiris in the summer to stay cool.
The ad copy does not explain the age, features, benefits of the blender.
In the words of the Wizard of Ads Roy Williams, I left the unimportant “underwater”.
The original ad, “Blender, with ice crush function” $15 was up for a week, with 11 views.
And no sale.
Not even a tweet of interest.
Information only gets attention when you’re relevant to a prospective buyer.
Drama gets attention to a larger audience. It pulls them in, creates an emotional ride, and lets them off feeling a bit better about their lives.
Playing around with ad copy, I rewrote the ad using Drama.
I was “farting around”.
I sold the blender the first day the new copy was used. And I received FULL asking price from the first person who contacted me.
Here’s the DRAMA ad:
This blender was built for those lazy summer days.
It’s hard to imagine the dog days of summer in the middle of March, when the temperature hovers around -4 degrees.
You know they’re coming.
The days get so hot, the sweat beads down your back the second you exit the house.
Some of us aren’t lucky enough to have air conditioning.
So we depend on the floor fan to keep the air moving so as not to die from heat exhaustion.
When the humidity is thicker than your mother-in-law’s turkey gravy, you don’t want to do anything but sing into the fan and drink something cool.
There are three things to survive those heat-wrenched days.
Get out of the house and go somewhere cooler (the mall, a friend’s house, the beach).
Take five cold showers per day.
Get rum, crush up ice and serve daiquiris.
We didn’t have any friends with a/c.
I hate the mall.
My body wasn’t built for the beach.
We were in a drought and were encouraged not to waste water.
We opted for number 3.
This blender makes a mean strawberry daiquiri. It kept the wife and I cool for all those humid summers with its ice crush option.
There are other options on it, but I only remember using the crush ice option. I’m sure I used other options, but after a few daiquiris, the memory blurs.
One batch makes enough daiquiri to ward off all the sweat demons and helps you sleep through the heat-infested evening.
I don’t know how I would have survived those sweaty summers without this blender.
We moved and the new house has a/c.
We don’t use the blender anymore.
If you don’t have a/c, hate the mall, don’t have friends with a/c, and don’t have a beach body, I have the best option for you.
Get a blender that crushes ice and have a few cold daiquiris.
Ours comes with a secret strawberry daiquiri recipe.
The usage of drama and storytelling pulls a reader into your world. Some won’t care.
In this case, we didn’t need SOME.
We needed ONE.
One of the mistakes business owners make is they think their ads have to appeal to EVERYONE.
They need a SMALL percentage of the market to have more business than they can handle.
I found ONE customer and now I have $15 where a blender once stood.
Can you be honest and tell me you don’t like drama?
Think of all those stories from your childhood,
Or the stories you pay to see at the local theatre,
Or the stories of an ad from J. Peterman.