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Aug 23rd, 2013 Share: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

On Selling

The following guest post is from a good friend and fellow Heretic Matej Novak, a copywriter with a deep passion for language and branding.

Let’s looks at another one of my favorite commercials.

First, an easy question: What is it advertising (i.e. what is the product)? Although it never says so outright, it obviously wants you to donate to the Peruvian Cancer Foundation. (Like I said, easy.)

Now a harder one: What is it selling? You might think it’s the same thing, but there’s a critical difference. Someone who makes a donation isn’t buying the foundation. They don’t get to take it home with them.

What they do get is the knowledge that they’re helping, the feeling that they’re making a difference, even if only a small one. What they’re buying — and what the commercial is selling — is hope.

What I find really impressive is how the commercial does it. There’s an amazing and powerful human insight that it draws on. And it’s so simple you might not even realize how powerful it is.

The commercial doesn’t show illness or weakness. It doesn’t show anyone in a hospital bed. It shows a little girl who wants to be normal — just like all kids do. And that’s something everyone can understand and relate to.

So before you try to get someone to buy anything, ask yourself: What am I selling? And how am I going to do it?

Because when you put those together — the sell and the insight — you get something that people want. And that can turn your product or service into something important, maybe even essential.

P.S. There’s so much more I could say about this commercial. Just about every aspect of it is perfect: the music, the pacing, the casting and especially that small (and again, very human) moment of hesitation before the girl’s mother lets her go. Gets me every time.

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