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What's the big idea???

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What's the big idea???

Post by SARubin »

Reading time about 2 minutes

What's the "Big Idea" behind your product?

Experienced copywriters know the value of creating a "big idea" for a campaign.

It can make the difference between a campaign that explodes with sales, or one that dies on the way to the hospital.

The concept has been batted around copywriting circles for decades. In fact here's a quote from the late, great, David Ogilvy talking about this very thing...


So as you can see the big idea has been around a long time, yet few writers or advertisers ever talk about how to come up with your big idea.

Maybe they're keeping it a secret?

Or maybe they just don't know?

Either way, I thought I'd share a couple small ideas I sometimes use to come up with big ideas.

Hopefully it'll give you some inspiration to come up with your own big idea for that next advertising campaign...

Big idea generator 1 - What's the backstory of your product?

Is there a fascination in the origin story?

Does the history of our product have some overlooked or interesting thing we can build a story around?

A real life example...

Back in 2004 Cindy Crawford became the front person for a line of skin care lotions.

The backstory for this product is that it was developed by a famous skin care doctor, who discovered a rare melon only grown in a remote part of France.

These melons stay ripe longer than any other melon because the molecules have anti-aging compounds. The kind that also work on human skin...

Talk about a backstory... Someone at the Guthy-Renker Agency knew this one had BIG IDEA written all over it.

That big idea started a company which today makes more than 100 Million Dollars a year selling lotions and potions in a hyper competitive market. (of course having a super model as a spokes-person didn't hurt)

Big idea generator 2 - Can we find a fascinating character to represent the product?

Sometimes a personality can be your big idea.

KFC has Colonel Sanders who brought his fried chicken recipe to the world.

Wendy's fast food had the founder Dave Thomas. Ogilvy created the "Man in the Hathaway shirt". Marlboro had the cowboy...

For better or worse these characters all gave a face to the company, and the product.

A real life example closer to home...

When I was running my e-commerce site, selling self defense and survival products... like every other business I had a lot of competition.

Of course I didn't want to compete on price so I had to come up with a big idea to stand out from the crowd.

So what did I do?

I made myself the expert self defense guy.

I told stories about my youth growing up in Detroit and how I had to learn to defend myself from an early age. Eventually I added a couple more personalities to the mix, and we became a trusted group of personal self defense experts who's sole mission was helping people protect themselves from crime.

This idea took my little company from a few sales a week to hundreds of sales every month. Even though my prices were higher than many of my competitors.

OK, I think we have time for one more...

Big idea generator 3 - Can we piggy-back on a commonly held understanding or belief?

Can we tie our product into a current news cycle or an evergreen belief?

In many financial niches one big idea is how to protect your money from ever increasing taxes (this one is current, and evergreen :x ) Does our product have some unique element that our competition doesn't offer? One that the government can't touch?

Another example... When Donald trump was president it was the most exciting news cycles in decades. Anyone who tied into that excitement couldn't help but make a lot of money.

Whether they were Pro-Trump or Anti-Trump, they were going to piss off a lot of people on one side and make a ton of sales from the other side.

As of this writing the Pro-Trump side can still sell a lot of products to the loyalists, while the Anti-side has pretty much already moved on to the next protestable outrage.

So can we tie our offer into any commonly held, emotionally charged belief (evergreen or current) In a unique way that our competition either can't, or won't?

These are just a few ways I've discovered to come up with Big Ideas. If you're struggling to come up with your own Big Idea maybe they can help a bit?

Until next time...

Here's to creating big ideas - for more powerful copywriting...

All the best,
A good marketer knows how to think like a marketer - A great marketer learns how to think like the customer...
SARubin - Direct Response Copywriter / Conversion Flow Specialist
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