That number reached in the sales of Four categories:
Alcohol, Tobacco, Pizza/Snacks and Dope.
Dope for this discussion is all illegal drugs, marijuana to heroin and all pills in between.
Every Friday, starting around 3pm the tradesman start the parade into 7-11, CircleK type stores and buy beer, wine, tobacco and snacks.
This parade lasts for a few hours, then the bars fill up.
So far, most Americans, who use dope, have a dealer for their drugs, can't buy that at the corner store (yet).
What is the motivation for this?
3 main reasons.
Addiction, stimulation and escapism.
IF all advertising were to stop today, how would next Friday be impacted? I think very darn little.
Sure BRANDS may take a hit, but I've been in stores that didn't get their supply of Budweiser on time and very few Bud drinkers left the store empty handed.
The amount of alcohol, tobacco, pizza and drugs would hardly feel a blip...so the industries are for the most part recession proof.
Now for copywriting.
We're hard wired for stimulation, it is the primary of all responses, from early man's Fight-Freeze-Flee survival response to today's knee jerk reaction to an idea, say, Obamacare.
Doesn't it then make sense to start with the result, the response you want, to clearly identify what that is, then backward chain your copy to the ATTENTION or Intersection of your target and your promotion?
Unfortunately, many ads fail to deliver on the headline, even here, there are Stimulating subject headers like:
Use the "dark forces" of copywriting to increase sales
was a huge disappointment for me, felt cheated, and having studied the "dark forces" for over five decades, it rang as some totally inexperienced guy thinking he found something...
Nothing dark about that stuff...dark stuff is manipulation for personal benefit, evoking a response by triggering automatic responses at the subconscious level by by-passing the reader's awareness. That's dark.
With the products of the billion dollar Friday, there isn't much subtlety, it is drink, get a buzz, feel good, get drunk, forget or lose yourself.
It is all about stimulation to an ALTERED STATE of mind.
On the Maslow pyramid these are all BASE wants/needs. Starving Alcoholics will buy wine before a hamburger.
As we go up the pyramid, toward self-actualization, the savvy marketer will write for a smaller, less base market...although with the understanding of "variation on a theme" perspective.
The stimulation craved by the base, is a more transmuted stimulation at the higher levels toward self and others, not just self.
Tony Robbins can fill up an island of buyers at the 20,000 level, and make a million dollars a week by stimulating HIS market at the top of the pyramid.
You, copywriter, have been instructed to put emotion into your promotions, and we see tons of ads "swiped" or copycatted which are totally ineffective BECAUSE the writer really doesn't have a grasp of human behavior...and one of their biggest mistakes is writing from a perspective of what they would want to hear, as opposed to KNOWING HOW TO CORRECTLY STIMULATE THE TARGET.
It is why there are so many competing for the low hanging fruit of dimes while never spending the time to learn how to stimulate for dollars.
PS According to one study, the dope dealers are one of the fastest growing profitable and tax free occupations in the world, and to the tune of thousands of dollars a week too.