No Muse, No Fuse!

Wanna' sell units? Make ads that promise to whisk away life's more odious tasks.
This story first appeared in the July 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Can you take a tiny capsule and cram in all the nutrition said to be the vaunted "five-a-day" fruit and veggie regimen?

Probably not yet. But that doesn't stop nutritional-supplement manufacturers from trying because they know that convenience and simplicity sell no matter what the product. Take the automatic nasal-trimmer, for example. I never found hand trimming particularly taxing, but I went high-tech anyway. And, yes, I've also got the battery-operated necktie carousel.

So the perception of new convenience is powerful stuff, especially in advertising. That's my message to John Haberkorn of Naples, Florida, who runs I AM Unlimited, a maker of reference software for the natural-health field.

Haberkorn's product, Health Software, has data on thousands of natural curatives. It's apparently used by pharmacists and others as an alternative to poking through books on a shelf. However, the product's mailer doesn't reflect that. One suggestion is a gigantic headline saying: "Natural Healing's New Looker-Upper!" This is followed by visuals showing a bookcase full of books as the "before" and the software as the "after." The captions read: "Switch from searching this way . . . to this way!" Finally, here's a catchy new name for the product itself: Minute Clinic-bespeaking quick-to-find cures. These ideas should give a healthy new boost to Haber-korn's promotional efforts.

Before:

A self-mailer-the most dissed of ad vehicles-needs to attract with a strong , unified benefit message.

1. Unfortunately, the front of this mailer is a hodgepodge that doesn't focus on the product's benefit.

2. "Order risk free today!" is good support, but not the line to lead with.



After:

The front of this mailer makes the product's benefit clear in an instant.

1. The headline sparks interest and gives a research product a spunkier name.

2. A quick way to convey the new convenience being offered is before-and-after visuals.



Jerry Fisher is a freelance advertising copywriter in the San Francisco Bay area and author of Creating Successful Small Business Advertising (available through Bookmasters, 800-247-6553). If you'd like Jerry to consider your materials for a makeover in this column, write to him c/o Entrepreneur or e-mail him at jerry228@aol.com.

View Comments (0)