Hidden Treasure

Your best possible headline may lay unnoticed--seek it out.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the December 1999 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine. Subscribe »

Linda Jackson of Salem, Oregon, is a breast cancer survivor who found post-mastectomy garments so sparse that she started her own company, Ladies First Inc., 10 years ago to offer women a better solution. Her collection, Softee Garments, is specially designed for the four- to six-week period after surgery. Jackson later expanded the line to include post-recovery wear. She uses the ad shown here to get specialists to prescribe her products, which are covered by Medicare and most insurance carriers, and to motivate medical suppliers and post-mastectomy retailers to provide the products.

The ad is attention-getting, especially the torn-away-page look. But one of the best elements is barely noticeable: It's the small line at the very bottom that says "Helping women feel feminine and confident following breast surgery."

Instead of hiding that evocative wording, use a variant of it at the top, in a new headline that says "To feel feminine and confident immediately following breast surgery. And beyond." Even though the advertising is directed at the clinician, a headline that addresses a solution to the emotional trauma associated with this procedure will attract the professional--and, by extension, the patient.

Moreover, the ad needs to better address the "why" question: Why choose Ladies First? Put in an endorsing-type subhead that says "Why Doctors Recommend Ladies First," followed by benefit captions and visuals.

What should you take away from this makeover? Don't overlook other descriptive copy for wording that could be headline gold.


This ad is adroitly composed, but it needs more emotional pull and caption elaboration.

1. This headline is succinct, clear and to the point, but it could use an emotional component.

2. Not having more explanatory captions is a missed opportunity because everybody reads captions.


This ad incorporates an emotional
element into the headline and offers more
details on the garments.

1. The headline speaks to both the physical and emotional post-surgical needs of the patient.

2. The descriptive captions invite more readership
than paragraph copy.

3. The symbol of breast cancer survivors conveys credibility and solidarity.

Jerry Fisher is an advertising copywriter, consultant and author of Creating Successful Small Business Advertising ($39.95), available by calling (800) 247-6553. If you'd like Jerry to consider your materials for a makeover in this column, send them in care of Entrepreneur.

Contact Source

Ladies First Inc., (800) 497-8285

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