Copywriting Lessons From Rosser Reeves (And His Masterpiece Reality In Advertising)
A licensed pilot, yachtsman, collector of art et alii captain concerning America’s first chess team sent to Moscow, Rosser Reeves also was one of the most decisive ad men on Madison Avenue (Incidentally, he was ditto David Ogilvy’s brother-in-law… ).
Using his own philosophy, Reeves grew his own agency, Ted Bates & Company from a small bureau to one of the world’s largest. This warrants study because there is an army of marketing consultants and copywriters extinguished there that can tell you 1,000 ways to grow your business but are struggling to pay their own light bill.
Reeves should be better remembered for his book “Reality In Advertising” than rightfulness for the USP concept but the serious students know he starts his book with a great Winston Churchill quote:
“There are two reasons for everything, a unhurt one and the real one.”
“Reality” is a complex book despite being quite short. Like many great works are, they container teach beginner ampersand veteran different things, be read many times over in your lifetime and each time store you with new and deeper insights.
What I like approximately Reeves most was he was almost scientific in his access to advertising especially the testing and measuring of marketing.
His onset beef being that advertising acts in a vacuum. It doesn’t. Your response rates are affected by many factors. All the direct mail campaigns in the post when 9/11 happened, bombed – not because the mailing had problems but because of heteronomous circumstances.
Many major advertisers however treat response it a barnstorm spil if marketing happens in a vacuum. Reverberating out a new run as early as sales start to sag. There are external causes of drops and increases in response. You desire to be aware they can happen and compensate for them when assessing analysis results and be sure that you have a large enough sample to be statistically relevant. Boring you may say unless it is reality.
Reeves distaste for originality rivals my own. The goal of many Madison Avenue Agencies in his day was originality. Your goal in creating advertising is not originality but sales. Now and then, it is not the job of an ad means gratify their own artistic urges, although to this day that is what many agencies strive to do.
I will quote on the subject of the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) it has needed to evolve since Reeves time in the 40s,50s, and 60s. But the question, remains pertinent to this day -why should a customer buy your ‘doover’ over a competitors one or any of the other myriad regarding options they have in guide to ‘scratch their itch?’
When you can answer that question active what you are writing copy for, you will always have an advantage over your competitors.