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You may have heard Parris Lampropoulos writes 700 bullets, or fascinations, for each promotion. This is before he writes any copy, jotting them down as he researches.

It is interesting to see the parallels between copywriting and screenwriting. In this video, you'll discover the deep research Dustin Lance Black (Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for "Milk") does for each screenplay -- before he even writes an outline. He does this so he can "kill the precious," the 90 percent of his ideas that don't work for the final project, much like Lampropoulos does with most of his bullets.


When you read a lot of sales letters, you can tell how much research went into them. Most are thin and hollow, relying on catchphrases and swiped structures that do not fit. One reason Lampropoulos and Black are so effective is their exhaustive preparation and research.

Try to up your research game. Really think through your avatar and how they see, feel and experience the world. What are you missing? What do you need to make the copy sing?

If you feel stuck on a copy job, go back into the research and look at it from a different angle. Ask different questions and see what you can discover. Either you need better and deeper research, or better thinking to find the gold inside. It's in there. It's always in there.
#children #kill #precious
  • Profile picture of the author Cam Connor
    Originally Posted by joe golfer View Post

    You may have heard Parris Lampropoulos writes 700 bullets, or fascinations, for each promotion. This is before he writes any copy, jotting them down as he researches.

    It is interesting to see the parallels between copywriting and screenwriting. In this video, you'll discover the deep research Dustin Lance Black (Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for "Milk") does for each screenplay -- before he even writes an outline. He does this so he can "kill the precious children," the 90 percent of his ideas that don't work for the final project, much like Lampropoulos does with most of his bullets.

    Creative Spark: Dustin Lance Black - YouTube

    When you read a lot of sales letters, you can tell how much research went into them. Most are thin and hollow, relying on catchphrases and swiped structures that do not fit. One reason Lampropoulos and Black are so effective is their exhaustive preparation and research.

    Try to up your research game. Really think through your avatar and how they see, feel and experience the world. What are you missing? What do you need to make the copy sing?

    If you feel stuck on a copy job, go back into the research and look at it from a different angle. Ask different questions and see what you can discover. Either you need better and deeper research, or better thinking to find the gold inside. It's in there. It's always in there.
    "I try to boil down the moments that are cinematic...".

    Loved it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Originally Posted by joe golfer View Post

    You may have heard Parris Lampropoulos writes 700 bullets, or fascinations, for each promotion. This is before he writes any copy, jotting them down as he researches.
    I've given similar advice to students when they need to write copy for an e-book. As you're reading it, write bullets from the material... it's amazing some of the ideas that pop into your head as you do. And be sure to jot down the page number each bullet was created from in case you later ask yourself, "What in the heck was I thinking of when I wrote that bullet?!".

    I don't think, though, that most copywriters who have real children would use the expression "Kill Your Precious Children" to explain throwing away bullets he or she isn't going to use. The metaphor is crass in my opinion.

    Alex
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    • Profile picture of the author joe golfer
      Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

      I don't think, though, that most copywriters who have real children would use the expression "Kill Your Precious Children" to explain throwing away bullets he or she isn't going to use. The metaphor is crass in my opinion.
      Alex
      Good point. I changed the title and reference to "kill your precious," a phrase I borrowed from Todd Henry (The Accidental Creative).
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      Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
      - Jack Trout
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      • Profile picture of the author Cam Connor
        Originally Posted by joe golfer View Post

        Good point. I changed the title and reference to "kill your precious," a phrase I borrowed from Todd Henry (The Accidental Creative).
        Now it just sounds like a reference to Lord of the Rings.

        -Cam
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  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    We called it killing your babies or killing your darlings in screenwriting.

    Sometimes you've written something absolutely brilliant or you are completely in love with this scene. However, it doesn't work in the story arc, so you can't be afraid to cut it. If it's that good, file it away for use later.
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  • Profile picture of the author JimmyHurrell
    Thanks for sharing important information.
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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    We've got a pretty good example of what happens when marketers who should know better don't do this in another thread right now...
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