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So, it's true - one thing we learn from history is that we never learn anything from history. Let's go back to Dr Johnson. It's worth remembering that kind of advertising old Sam was talking about in 18th century was fairly innocuous and largely unexceptionable. It could be read in coffee-house flyers, in chapbooks and in rudimentary newspapers; and it consisted of sales messages as diverse as where to get your wig powdered and date of next public hanging at Tyburn. Even so, products and services on offer were as important to people of time as mobile phones and computers are to us.
In human condition, nothing much changes. Our egos still need to be massaged and we are all in hot pursuit of happiness. Only our methods for achieving these goals, only our technologies, vary with time.
So next time you are tempted to commit advertising, think about Sam Johnson and give your market a reason for owning your product. A good reason.
Which prompts me to suggest a visit to www.wordpower3.com. There, you'll find an e-book that could make your working life a whole lot easier. It contains close to 200 ready-made headlines, taglines, copy openers and clinchers, plus a comprehensive theme- finder that will give you just about every promotional word and phrase you'll ever need.
It's called Word Power III. Over years, its content has helped me make a lot of money. What it has done for me, it can do for you. And that's a large promise.
Patrick Quinn is a copywriter, with 40 years' experience of the advertising business in London, Dublin, Edinburgh and Miami.
Over the years, he has helped win for his clients just about every advertising award worth winning
His published books, include:
The Secrets of Successful Copywriting. The Secrets of Successful Low Budget Advertising. The Secrets of Successful Exhibitions. Word Power.