Let Them Eat.

The right buzzwords can whet consumer appetite for your product.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the August 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

What are the riveting hot-button words in your industry...the ones that can make consumers instantly glom on to your product? In the health-foods field, there are many of them-"organic" and "fat-free" are two examples. One I recommend to Suzanne Locklear, a Boise, Idaho, specialty food maker-is "longevity." It's a word that has a certain endorphin-like effect on health-conscious people. And applied to the line of specialty salad dressings Locklear is marketing, it could move a whole lot of veggie balm.

Currently, she's using personality-driven advertising for attention. Locklear has twice survived breast cancer, and she notes it in her advertising as a way to validate her health-consciousness. But it's not enough. I think she needs a button-pusher or two in the headline -promoting the health potential of her pour-overs. But, because overpromising in the health field is an infraction that'll get you 20 lashes from government regulators, you need to qualify your claims. My suggested headline is: "Suzanne's Five Tasty Longevity Secrets." A subhead would follow, saying, "Discover the dressings and marinades that burst with flavor, but have none of the no-nos experts warn are aging your body."

Locklear's current slogan, "Add life to every meal," seems a little hackneyed on its own. But the new headline now gives it a slightly ambiguous double meaning that complements "longevity." What to take away from this? Key on your industry's hot-button sales points and push down on them.


What compels prospects to read the ad? That information needs to lead off this product sheet.

1. This headline and subhead do little more than identify the product.

2. The photo setup is artfully arranged, but that doesn't make up for a headline that won't motivate readers.


This slightly tweaked version tempts and titillates with hot-button language that speaks to the target audience.

1. The headline now uses gripping language-such as the word "secrets," which is always provocative-to grab attention.

2. When evaluating headlines and subheads, ask yourself: Will this string of words provoke potential customers to read further?

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.


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