The Great Lie of "Copy Is King". Ultra-Sexy Example Included!

30 replies
Copy Warriors:

How many times have you heard "Copy is King"?

10 Times? 20 Times? 100+ times?

Well...

... you've been lied to each time.

Deceived. Fooled. Conned.

Yep, you fell for the company line: hook, line, & sinker.

Copy isn't King. Product is!

Product/services that are unique, desired, and sought after are...

KING!


Don't believe me?

Allow this example to rumbled in your head.

Selling Coachella 2010 Artist Backstage Passes

Here's the ad that was run.

Title: 2 Coachella Artist Cloth Wristbands For Sale, Backstage Access, 3 Day Access

Body:

For sale 2 Coachella cloth artist wristbands. Backstage Access.

$1000 each. Pick up in Los Angeles. Call xxx-xxx-xxxx
That horrible ad got over 20 responses. 5 serious buyers. 2 with cash in hand.

And why?

Because...
  1. the demand is enormous
  2. the supply is extremely limited
  3. Emotional Purchase
  4. Time Sensitive

As Gary Halbert would say, "Find a starving marketing".

Product/services that are unique, desired, and sought after are KING!

Just a thought you shouldn't think too much about.
#copy is king #great #included #lie #ultrasexy
  • Profile picture of the author MontelloMarketing
    I never once heard "copy is king." In fact I consider professional copywriters as being above that kind of crap.

    But IMO they're the only ones above it.

    I heard many times that "content is king" (also crap)... and I've heard "conversion is king" (more crap).

    There is no king.

    That said...

    All things created equal, 9 times out of 10 great copy will kick the living daylights out of crap copy.

    The rest is all comparing apples to oranges.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ashley Gable
      I was just going to post a thread saying that "copy" was king


      Seriously, isnt this just one of those things that comes up where someone gets a little success with one aspect and because of that "breakthrough" decides that the one gear (amongst many) is "the best".


      But in the end ALL the gears are required. All I know is that a great product will sell, but with a good bit of copy backing it up it will sell a lot more! And vica versa.
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      • Profile picture of the author copyassassin
        @MontelloMarketing

        Respectfully, gotta disagree with you here.

        Product/services that are unique, desired, and sought after are KING!

        If you don't have a King, odds are you'll fail.

        That being said, the point of the post is that for the all formatting, structure, & embedded commands that copywriters talk about, in the end if you have a hot product/service, you'll sell it out.

        And yes, great copy vs C-level copy will sell it out faster.

        However, C-Level copy will still sell out.

        And that's the main point. C-Level copy still sells out.

        As your product/service descends in originality, exclusiveness, desire...

        ... increased copy skill required.

        Product/Service is King.
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        • Profile picture of the author rafibarlev
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          • Profile picture of the author copyassassin
            @travlinguy
            When I wrote this I after reading Metronicity WSO, where he writes, "Copywriting is KING".

            Copy is King. Perhaps you've heard Content is King.

            The underlying idea is the well written copy is required for success.

            I say NO.

            It's information that offers unique, valuable, & insightful ideas that is sought after.

            And in this case, the product is killer content.

            My point is this:

            Copy is secondary to being in a niche where buyers are starving to buy your product.

            My example is coachella backstage passes ad where people willingly handed over $1800 to a person they never met before, without a reassure whatsoever.


            @Nisip:
            Words are very powerful.

            Letters are like bullets. In the wrong hands, a great copywriter can sell the dream, with the buyer waking up the next day going, "what did I just do".
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          • Profile picture of the author MontelloMarketing
            Originally Posted by rafibarlev View Post

            On the other hand, the iPAD sold and many people said it was just an over sized, overpriced iPhone...

            So does that prove that marketing is king?
            No that proves people are lemmings.
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            • Profile picture of the author Daniel Sanchez
              Originally Posted by MontelloMarketing View Post

              No that proves people are lemmings.
              LOL! Agreed.

              Copyassassin:

              OK, another silly arguement...

              No logic...

              Ok, so product is well placed, good market, good offer (which by the way great copywriter's focus a great deal on)...

              And somehow this discredits copy?

              Of course a great product , properly placed (if no one knows about...pointless) and great offer: of course it's going to do well...

              But what if you advertsied and added great copy to the mix?

              Would it improve conversion?

              Would it open more opportunities and trust for later business? (also another focus of great copy writing)...

              Great copy added to any campaign (if it is well done and tested) should improve sales in any market...

              PS - Copywriting has it's place and in different forms...

              Say an ad for craigslist: that would be classified ad copy...

              And those rules?

              Quote:
              1. the demand is enormous
              2. the supply is extremely limited
              3. Emotional Purchase
              4. Time Sensitive
              Where did you think those came from? Sales industry and (drum roll please), the copywriting industry! Feel free to crack open a copywriting book and learn something about it sometime.


              I LOVE the fact that persuasion in word and print has existed for longer than any other form of advertisement and yet people still go around saying "Copy is dead" and so on...

              This isn't the first time this arguement has been brought up in the last 100 years you know...and great copy is still alive and selling billions of dollars of products all around the world..

              ...lemmings... XD
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        • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
          Originally Posted by copyassassin View Post

          Product/services that are unique, desired, and sought after are KING!

          If you don't have a King, odds are you'll fail.
          Clearly you've never worked in the Forex market, where every freaking launch is the same product (and sometimes even the same sales letter!).

          Despite not haivng a "king" they manage to get some pretty amazing conversions (a letter I did converted at 19%).

          That being said, the point of the post is that for the all formatting, structure, & embedded commands that copywriters talk about, in the end if you have a hot product/service, you'll sell it out.

          And yes, great copy vs C-level copy will sell it out faster.

          However, C-Level copy will still sell out.

          And that's the main point. C-Level copy still sells out.
          For products that are limited in number and have a much higher demand than supply, sure, you're right.

          But most products have infinite numbers (ie. the production lines are still pumping them out).

          So your point then becomes invalid... as one will DEFINITELY shift more units than the other.

          I agree a great offer is important. But even without it... your stuff can still sell like crazy.

          Sad but true.

          -Dan
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        • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
          Originally Posted by copyassassin View Post

          ...in the end if you have a hot product/service, you'll sell it out.
          Absolutely True.

          But here's the question...

          How do you think a product becomes "hot"?

          The answer?

          Through marketing and copywriting.

          You can have the greatest product in the world, but if no one knows about it, it's not going to sell.

          But wait -- what about the tickets you so easily sold with the crappy ad?

          I'm guessing that "Coachella" is a singer or band of some sort. And, if that's the case, I'd wager to say that their record company or concert promoter spend a bit of cash on marketing and copywriitng to create the demand that you fed off of.

          There is no free lunch in the world of marketing.

          But, of course, I could be wrong...

          Perhaps the Pet Rock is one of the best-selling novelties of all time because rocks are great products and make such wonderful "toys." After all, they are quite lovable.

          But call me a cynic...

          'Cause I'm gonna guess that -- once again -- promotion, marketing, and copywriting helped out just a tad even in that case.

          Regards,

          Johnny
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        • Profile picture of the author MontelloMarketing
          Originally Posted by copyassassin View Post

          @MontelloMarketing

          Respectfully, gotta disagree with you here.

          Product/services that are unique, desired, and sought after are KING!

          If you don't have a King, odds are you'll fail.

          That being said, the point of the post is that for the all formatting, structure, & embedded commands that copywriters talk about, in the end if you have a hot product/service, you'll sell it out.

          And yes, great copy vs C-level copy will sell it out faster.

          However, C-Level copy will still sell out.

          And that's the main point. C-Level copy still sells out.

          As your product/service descends in originality, exclusiveness, desire...

          ... increased copy skill required.

          Product/Service is King.
          Disagree all you want... You're still wrong. Not everything "sells out." Blu Blocker sunglasses never "sold out." Good copy outsells bad copy that's just plain fact. I don't think you're completely disagreeing but I had to say it.

          plus you say as "your product descends in originality" etc... you're proving just how important the copy is.
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          • Profile picture of the author Russell Hall
            Originally Posted by MontelloMarketing View Post

            Disagree all you want... You're still wrong. Not everything "sells out." Blu Blocker sunglasses never "sold out." Good copy outsells bad copy that's just plain fact. I don't think you're completely disagreeing but I had to say it.

            plus you say as "your product descends in originality" etc... you're proving just how important the copy is.
            Good point,... which I note you've made a couple of times and I agree on its relevance. Plain and simple,- Good copy will always outsell bad copy and given that "copy" is an essential ingredient then it pays to focus on improving one's skills here or in fact hiring someone that already has them (perhaps the smarter alternative).

            Anyway,... all this talk about "copy is king".... I thought it went that "Cash is king" ??

            Cheers
            Russ
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    I've never heard copy is king. I think I once heard that content was king or that content was everything or that content rules or something... But maybe that was a dream within a dream kinda stuff.

    I think I understand your 'shock and awe' newbie approach but it seems you forgot to make your point with all the posturing. You did have a point, didn't you?
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  • Profile picture of the author Nisip
    Banned
    If you have a bad product, you should never sell it.

    Because of copywriters, medicines that are actually killing the patients, entered the market, and made many sales and many victims, just because the guys who wrote the ads never cared that the medicines are actually damaging and dangerous...
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    • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
      Originally Posted by Nisip View Post

      If you have a bad product, you should never sell it.

      Because of copywriters, medicines that are actually killing the patients, entered the market, and made many sales and many victims, just because the guys who wrote the ads never cared that the medicines are actually damaging and dangerous...
      I'm with you, man.

      All those poor defenseless marketers, totally unaware that they were selling snake-oil from the pen of an evil copywriter.

      Forced to fleece under false pretense...

      DIE COPYWRITING SCUM!
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    • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Paul McQuillan View Post

      I would hate to sound like a broken record... I have never
      heard 'copy is king' either.

      The sexy example helped me to understand it though... Kinda
      like- FREE BEER!
      Funny you should mention that. I once ran a radio ad that started with -
      "FREE BEER! Yes campers - this afternoon between 4 and 6...The Stranglers Arms is offering FREE BEER - Buy One - Get One Free."
      Read all about it - The ColdMan - Short Stories - Bring the Fresh | Nikki Catsouras Photos | Unique baby names | make girl dance baby | Frank Kern List Machine ?
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    "Copy is King"? WTF. You mean "Content is King" maybe? My "Copywriting is King" quip was just a spin on that. Maybe it went over the top of your head. Sorry about that Chief.

    Are you really In Beverley Hills, Dude? If so, English is not your primary language is it.

    I'd quit now before you get eaten alive.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kelly Verge
    Originally Posted by copyassassin View Post

    Copy Warriors:

    How many times have you heard "Copy is King"?

    10 Times? 20 Times? 100+ times?

    Well...

    ... you've been lied to each time.

    Deceived. Fooled. Conned.

    Yep, you fell for the company line: hook, line, & sinker.

    Copy isn't King. Product is!

    Product/services that are unique, desired, and sought after are...

    KING!


    Don't believe me?

    Allow this example to rumbled in your head.

    Selling Coachella 2010 Artist Backstage Passes

    Here's the ad that was run.

    That horrible ad got over 20 responses. 5 serious buyers. 2 with cash in hand.

    And why?

    Because...
    1. the demand is enormous
    2. the supply is extremely limited
    3. Emotional Purchase
    4. Time Sensitive

    As Gary Halbert would say, "Find a starving marketing".

    Product/services that are unique, desired, and sought after are KING!

    Just a thought you shouldn't think too much about.

    Just imagine... a well-written long-copy ad might have generated 1,000 or even 10,000 sales.

    Someone sold two of a high priced item. In no way does that prove that longer copy isn't needed.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      I think from several angles this thread is an argument that makes no sense.

      "Copy is king" is a new phrase to me, too...but I think the entire argument is silly.

      Great copy may sell a crappy product....for a while. A truly great product may sell very well with poor copy as word of mouth advertises it.

      Great copy sells by telling a hungry market what it wants to hear....in a way that ALLOWS THEM to believe the product is the answer to their problem. Mediocre copy tries to convince people to believe - not as good.
      It's a subtle difference in approach - that can make a huge difference in sales.

      The "great truth" is that there are 3 points of balance.....a good product in a niche with high consumer demand.... and good copy to market the product.

      kay
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      • Profile picture of the author Matthew Duggan
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        I think from several angles this thread is an argument that makes no sense...

        The "great truth" is that there are 3 points of balance.....a good product in a niche with high consumer demand.... and good copy to market the product.
        Totally agree Kay. The best copy shows the benefits of an already good product to a market looking for the solution it provides. All are important. Copywriting is only one third of the equation.

        The Coachella example just proves that there was a demand for that product which sold in spite of the crap copy. With good copy they may well have sold far more.
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    • Originally Posted by Kelly Verge View Post

      Just imagine... a well-written long-copy ad might have generated 1,000 or even 10,000 sales.

      Someone sold two of a high priced item. In no way does that prove that longer copy isn't needed.
      Well, in addition to that, they could also have sold these TWO items (assuming there was only two available) at a way higher price, if they had used good copy. If you sell ice water in hell, and you are a bad salesman, you'll still get a fair price. But if you were a good salesman/marketer, you'd make a fortune. Sebastien
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  • Profile picture of the author eSupportSystem
    Banned
    Hi,

    I see a good response from the members. But the setting is just wrong. We never say 'copy is king'. We say 'content is king'! Why do not you follow the last word of CopyAssassin.....You should not think too much about it.

    I am new to the forum, so saying hi and hello to every room and corner here!
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  • Profile picture of the author jukeboxhero
    and the winner clearly is "Copy is king"...

    I wish I could tell you who, what or where I heard this... I believe it was Michael Fortin... At any rate.. It was a BIG shooter who said it.

    Anyway this copy writer wrote some absolutely KILLER copy for this set of DVD's...

    Sure enough the DVD's sold out instantly...

    It was only WEEKS after delivering them they had there first complaint... The dvd's were BLANK.

    The first 200-300 copies of the DVD's were left blank... The interesting part was... Returns didn't change a lick.

    Moral of the story... Kick A$$ copy can sell blank DVD's for $500 bucks a pop...

    That said... shabby copy for a great product won't have ANY returns. Because NONE will sell.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    Holy cow! The OP was right. 2008 - Dan Kennedy "Copy is King". Mea Culpa.

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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    There is art and there is science.

    Art is subjective while science is objective.

    "Copy is king" is art and not science. This statement is
    not referring to a comparision that was done on the
    factors that lead to the most profit and copy won.

    But if you are talking to a plumber then good fitting
    pipes and all that go into plumbing IS the most important
    part of your house. The interior decorator will have a different
    assessment.

    To your doctor your health is the most important thing and
    to your banker your bottom line is.

    If you're a business person talking to me then your copy is the
    MOST important part of your business--not because it is but
    because for me it is the straw that breaks the camel's back.
    It's normally the last piece of the puzzle that would lead to
    more sales but is often overlooked.

    This doesn't mean that the product, traffic and market
    are not important--but just don't expect me as the copywriter
    to sell you on that. My business is to sell you on the
    importance of copy.

    So we need to make clear from what point we are arguing.
    Are we being scientific or artistic?

    I don't know if anyone ever did a split test with copy,
    product, traffic to see which won. That would give you
    the "scientific" answer.

    But in the copywriting forum and for every copywriter
    "LONG LIVE THE KING--COPY!!"

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author dyadvisor
    Sorry, but I think one of the points is missed. P.T. Barnum (Circus King) is still hailed as one of the Greatest Salespeople of the World. He had billboards with the words "Live, Inside, see the Two Headed Man." He released the art of hitting emotion. You may have stumbled on it partially. However, copywriters use it consistently.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
      Banned
      Originally Posted by dyadvisor View Post

      Sorry, but I think one of the points is missed. P.T. Barnum (Circus King) is still hailed as one of the Greatest Salespeople of the World. He had billboards with the words "Live, Inside, see the Two Headed Man." He released the art of hitting emotion. You may have stumbled on it partially. However, copywriters use it consistently.
      What about "The Bearded Lady"? That's pure discrimination and absolutely sexist.
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  • Profile picture of the author DougBarger
    Writing copy is only the second highest paying writing profession.

    (Just behind ransom notes written to a king.)
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    • Profile picture of the author copyassassin
      Thank You to everybody who has responded to this thread. I'm honored that some of Warriors best copywriters have checked this out. Just a couple of key points and then I'll tell this horse go out to pasture.

      I love copywriting. Copywriting is VITAL. And copywriting done well CAN be the difference from BK or BH (that's Beverly Hills for you Metronicity )


      @DougBarger , BrianMcLeod, -- LOL

      @Raydal-- Well said. Every professional should own the importance of their piece of the puzzle. And let everybody know it too!

      @Metronicity-- No worries, mate. My intention was never to call you out. I find your style entertaining; that's why I read your WSO in the first place. Just wanted to add some weight to the other side. That an in-demand product will sell despite "horrible copy".

      And sadly, English is my first langague. I do however speak a little spanish (required for living in SoCal) and a little Hebrew.

      I do contract work in BH, my primary house is in San Gabriel Valley, I visit Palm Springs and San Francisco on a regular basis. However, none of this has helped me with grammar or spelling, lol.

      @jukeboxhero-- No doubt that is true. Copywriters need to be careful on what and how they promote a product/service. Ethics are important if you want to stay in the game for any meaningful length of time.

      @Danniboy -- I consider copy to be VITAL to the success of any product or service.

      However, the quality of copy needed to sell one unit is inversely proportional to the demand, given a limited a supply of that product.

      Again, great copy isn't needed for a hot product. In fact, there was thread on this concept re: an event Kennedy and Abraham were doing.

      Copywriting becomes more & more important in areas of high competition with products/services that are basically the same. Beer, Cars, Financial Services are some examples.

      I agree that great copy will lead to better conversions rates, and more money. However, when you take into account a cost-benefit analysis, sometimes a dinky little ad is all it takes. Why spend 40+ hours on a sales letters when a 10 min ad is all that is required? You don't need a nuc to kill a bee!

      @Kay King-- Agreed.

      @Ken_Caudill -- Finding the "hell" and "ice water" of every niche is the fun part of research. Copywriting is as much about research as writing skill, as you know.

      And you're right; that isn't new. Just rarely ever done. Research isn't sexy, and often gets overlooked by many.

      @Johnny12345 -- I like your response. A little clarification may help you better understand where I'm coming from.

      I come from the point of view of small business owners who don't have the resources to create market trends and demand. Rather, small business owners need to capitalize on market trends, and areas where there are gaps in product/service offerings.

      You are correct in that Coachella was
      a highly advertised event. They probably spent over 2-5 million on advertising. Probably more.

      You are correct I fed off that demand.

      And so should every product/service provider!

      Find the need, and fill it. Simple, right?, LOL!

      @Daniel Scott-- I haven't worked the FOREX market. Thanks for that insight.
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