The Money Is In The Details

Welcome to day four of “Making Your Stuff Cool.” To review, we covered the little-known “RADIO technique” on Monday, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tactic on Tuesday; Wednesday was about making predictions, and today is about details.

We’ve all heard the saying that “the devil is in the details,” but I’m going to tell you that the money is there, too.

Claude Hopkins taught me that. Of course, I never met Claude, because he died forty-three years before I was born. But he lives on in the ads he created for the companies that were clients of the ad agencies he worked at. And yes, ad men and women can definitely become Thought Leaders. It’s their business to lead the public.

Let’s talk about one of his ads and see if we can steal the tactic he employed.

If you never saw the very first episode of “Mad Men,” you should probably do that. In the show, a Madison Avenue ad agency Creative Director named Don Draper is trying to come up with a “hook” for an advertising campaign for Lucky Strike cigarettes.

At the last minute, he has a stroke of genius. He says to advertise this phrase: “It’s Toasted.” 

Of course, all tobacco companies toast their leaves as a standard part of their production process, but Don made the point that nobody talks about it. By giving consumers something to think about (besides the fact that cigarettes will kill you), their company gets to sidestep that issue and set themselves apart.

It’s genius.

And it was pulled from real life. That “Mad Men” episode was based on the campaign that Claude Hopkins came up with in 1917 for Lucky Strike. It was a very successful campaign.

So that’s a great story, but what can you and I do with it?

Let’s look at the technique itself: Claude learned as much as he could about the product (just as a Thought Leader should) and then took a single, little-known detail that he could talk about in a fresh, new way.

The tactic was so successful, Claude also used it for Schlitz beer, Quaker Oats, and other companies.

If you put a little thought into it, you could use this tactic as a way to draw interest to your thought leadership content and products as well.

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