Gene Schwartz Health Secrets Book Copy Swipe File Example

by Drez
25 replies
Gene Schwartz had an amazing ability to transform a book into something you could not afford to be without. And he did this time and time again.

He's another great example of a print ad Gene Schwartz wrote in 1968 for a book that revealed healthy eating strategies to cure illnesses.

Check it out here (view and download PDF) for free:

Gene Schwartz Copy Example | Natural Health Secrets Book | Copywriter Swipe File
#book #copy #copy swipe file #copywriting #file #gene #gene schwartz #health #health secrets #schwartz #secrets #swipe
  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Originally Posted by Drez View Post

    Gene Schwartz had an amazing ability to transform a book into something you could not afford to be without. And he did this time and time again.

    He's another great example of a print ad Gene Schwartz wrote in 1968 for a book that revealed healthy eating strategies to cure illnesses.

    Check it out here (view and download PDF) for free:

    Gene Schwartz Copy Example | Natural Health Secrets Book | Copywriter Swipe File
    He also had an amazing ability to make outrageous claims.

    Think he would have been as successful in this modern age of skepticism?

    Alex
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
      Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

      He also had an amazing ability to make outrageous claims.

      Think he would have been as successful in this modern age of skepticism?

      Alex
      Alex, I believe the stuff he's saying is more relevant now than ever. Someone could use the ideals and approach he structured in the example to generate some amazing conversions for a nutrition ebook.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
        Originally Posted by Reflection Marketing View Post

        I believe the stuff he's saying is more relevant now than ever.
        That's laughable.

        The pre-head and headline alone make an outrageous claim...

        "... forget about drugs and realize that FOOD IS YOUR BEST MEDICINE"

        Penicillin has saved countless lives that "eating food" wouldn't have.

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

          That's laughable.

          The pre-head and headline alone make an outrageous claim...

          "... forget about drugs and realize that FOOD IS YOUR BEST MEDICINE"

          Penicillin has saved countless lives that "eating food" wouldn't have.

          Alex
          Bzztt.... wrong.

          It worked based on the target market's mindset, the economy, etc. at that time (1968).

          If Gene were alive, he'd write the ad based on the current environment.

          No ad or marketing piece works forever without being updated to reflect the change in times and what stage of awareness the target market is currently in.

          Eugene Schwartz spells that all out in his book Breakthrough Advertising.

          Could he be a top copywriter today?

          Absolutely!

          I have no doubt in my mind based on the variety of hits he had in his career and the wealth of knowledge he shared in his teachings.

          A number of strategic and tactical things he did his ads in the 1960's are still done today by other very successful copywriters. His track record is also why he's considered one of the best copywriters ever.

          Mike

          P.S. I want to thank Drez for sharing yet another great control piece from his collection. Some of your finds have been pure gold and I am thankful to add them to my own swipe file library.
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          • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
            Originally Posted by MikeHumphreys View Post

            Bzztt.... wrong.

            It worked based on the target market's mindset, the economy, etc. at that time (1968).

            If Gene were alive, he'd write the ad based on the current environment.

            No ad or marketing piece works forever without being updated to reflect the change in times and what stage of awareness the target market is currently in.

            Eugene Schwartz spells that all out in his book Breakthrough Advertising.

            Could he be a top copywriter today?

            Absolutely!

            I have no doubt in my mind based on the variety of hits he had in his career and the wealth of knowledge he shared in his teachings.

            A number of strategic and tactical things he did his ads in the 1960's are still done today by other very successful copywriters. His track record is also why he's considered one of the best copywriters ever.

            Mike

            P.S. I want to thank Drez for sharing yet another great control piece from his collection. Some of your finds have been pure gold and I am thankful to add them to my own swipe file library.
            I've read quite a few of his ads, and my observation is that much of his success was based on giving people false hope and making outrageous claims that wouldn't pass FTC muster in today's environment.

            If he had been born 40 years later and was writing copy today, would he be one of the greats? Probably. But not using his old model.

            Bzztt! LOL

            Free tip: If you want to find a bunch of cool noises in print, check out Don Martin's Dictionary of Sounds here...

            http://madcoversite.com/dmd-alphabetical.html

            Alex
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            • Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

              Free tip: If you want to find a bunch of cool noises in print, check out Don Martin's Dictionary of Sounds here...

              http://madcoversite.com/dmd-alphabetical.html

              Alex
              Thanks for that link. I read it while I was... CHOMP CHOMP GLUK CLOMP...eating my lunch.
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            • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
              Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

              I've read quite a few of his ads, and my observation is that much of his success was based on giving people false hope and making outrageous claims that wouldn't pass FTC muster in today's environment.
              <SIGH>

              Schwartz wrote his copy based on the laws of the time and the marketplace then. Just like every copywriter living or dead has ever done.

              If you want to claim the success of a legendary DEAD copywriter who can't answer your gibberish debate himself is due to exploiting loopholes, then knock yourself out.

              Personally, I find it completely low-class to talk negatively about the dead and trash the reputation of a man who was one of the most successful copywriters ever.

              A man who other A-List copywriters like Clayton Makepeace, Gary Bencivenga, Brian Keith Voiles, and countless others give credit for helping make a major difference in their careers.

              Maybe future generations can return the favor to you 40 years from now.

              Eugene Schwartz is the copywriter who is given credit for launching Boardroom and then referred that company to Mel Martin to continue to grow the company. So he didn't just write great copy... he knew who else in the industry had the chops to write great copy too.

              His book Breakthrough Advertising is considered one of the top copywriting and marketing books ever written by many future copywriters.

              And Schwartz had hits in multiple niches... something that many copywriters can not claim.

              If he had been born 40 years later and was writing copy today, would he be one of the greats? Probably. But not using his old model.
              If he were writing copy today and had access to the internet for research... computers to write the copy on instead of a typewriter... PhotoShop trained graphic designers instead of whatever was used in the 1950's and 1960's... the use of TV and video media to sell products... I think Schwartz would have been even more successful today because he would have had better weapons at his fingertips.

              Forget about the story of how quickly Eugene Schwartz wrote the ad that launched Boardroom. Schwartz had a reputation of being a very strong detailed researcher who dug deep into a product and found the golden nuggets that would best sell a product.

              My 3 cents,

              Mike
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              • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
                Eugene Schwartz was a great copywriter...pure and simple.

                Results in terms of excellent sales speaks for itself. Schwartz did this time and time again.
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              • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
                Originally Posted by MikeHumphreys View Post

                <SIGH>

                Schwartz wrote his copy based on the laws of the time and the marketplace then. Just like every copywriter living or dead has ever done.

                If you want to claim the success of a legendary DEAD copywriter who can't answer your gibberish debate himself is due to exploiting loopholes, then knock yourself out.

                Personally, I find it completely low-class to talk negatively about the dead and trash the reputation of a man who was one of the most successful copywriters ever.
                The work of significant historical figures SHOULD be analyzed critically. Certainly not with rose-colored glasses.

                And none of your personal insults addressed my opinion: his copy gave people false hope and made outrageous claims.

                SKREEYEEYEEYEEYEEK!

                Alex
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                • Profile picture of the author Drez
                  Whoa ... slow down there.

                  There's no disputing that Gene Schwartz was a brilliant copywriter and marketer.

                  Would he have adapted to modern-day changes? Undoubtedly.

                  In my mind the REAL question is can you learn from his legacy?

                  Forget all the bullsh*t for a second. When you study his copy is there ANYTHING you can take away that could help improve YOUR copy?

                  I've gotta believe the answer is yes.

                  You can debate the woulda, coulda and shoulda's from now til whenever. It becomes somewhat like playing with yourself since (as Mike pointed out) Gene's not here to defend himself.

                  So just think of Gene's copy on an academic level and appreciate it.

                  And, by the way, the same thing goes for almost ANY swipes from the greats including Claude Hopkins (wrote copy for patent medicines), Gary Halbert (wrote thinly disguised investor solicitations), and others.

                  Who cares. Just be happy we HAVE these resources.
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                • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
                  Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

                  And none of your personal insults addressed my opinion: his copy gave people false hope and made outrageous claims.
                  Yeah, that's your opinion. You weren't part of the target market that saw that ad in 1968.

                  It's the same target market that countless alternative health products are marketed to every year.

                  Chances are, you're still not part of the same target market. So the ad wouldn't resonate with you regardless of what it said.

                  Speaking of outrageous claims...

                  Where's your proof?

                  Do you have any proof that people were let down by the product? Do you have any proof that the publisher of the book deliberately mislead or defrauded the general public?

                  The truth is there's been countless diseases that have been linked to nutritional deficiencies or excess.

                  Scurvy.

                  Rickets.

                  Diabetes.

                  Heart disease.

                  I could name dozens more but that would make this post even longer.

                  Vitamins and minerals... a number of them have been linked to curing or preventing diseases too.

                  For example, Zinc. A 2011 medical review (see Wikipedia) reports that Zinc has been confirmed to decrease the duration and severity of the common cold.

                  Then there's the matter of drugs. The majority of them are either derived from naturally occuring substances or a scientifically synthesized.

                  You mentioned Pencillin. Well, Pencillin... was originally grown from mold in a petri dish.

                  Despite having world-class medical care available... There's a reason why the U.S.A. is 36th in the world for life expectany... as a collective group, we eat too much junk food, fast food, and other "unhealthy" foods.

                  List of countries by life expectancy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                  Maybe the "eat heathier" concept offered in 1968 wasn't so outrageous after all.

                  Mike
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                  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
                    Originally Posted by MikeHumphreys View Post

                    Yeah, that's your opinion. You weren't part of the target market that saw that ad in 1968.

                    It's the same target market that countless alternative health products are marketed to every year.

                    Chances are, you're still not part of the same target market. So the ad wouldn't resonate with you regardless of what it said.

                    Speaking of outrageous claims...

                    Where's your proof?

                    Do you have any proof that people were let down by the product? Do you have any proof that the publisher of the book deliberately mislead or defrauded the general public?

                    The truth is there's been countless diseases that have been linked to nutritional deficiencies or excess.

                    Scurvy.

                    Rickets.

                    Diabetes.

                    Heart disease.

                    I could name dozens more but that would make this post even longer.

                    Vitamins and minerals... a number of them have been linked to curing or preventing diseases too.

                    For example, Zinc. A 2011 medical review (see Wikipedia) reports that Zinc has been confirmed to decrease the duration and severity of the common cold.

                    Then there's the matter of drugs. The majority of them are either derived from naturally occuring substances or a scientifically synthesized.

                    You mentioned Pencillin. Well, Pencillin... was originally grown from mold in a petri dish.

                    Despite having world-class medical care available... There's a reason why the U.S.A. is 36th in the world for life expectany... as a collective group, we eat too much junk food, fast food, and other "unhealthy" foods.

                    List of countries by life expectancy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                    Maybe the "eat heathier" concept offered in 1968 wasn't so outrageous after all.

                    Mike
                    Of course eating healthier is a good idea. That's not in dispute. The specific claim in question is: "... forget about drugs and realize that FOOD IS YOUR BEST MEDICINE".

                    Oh, and then there's the sales letter that starts off, "HOW TO LIVE TO BE A HUNDRED!"

                    See if you can read that one with a straight face.

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

                      Of course eating healthier is a good idea. That's not in dispute. The specific claim in question is: "... forget about drugs and realize that FOOD IS YOUR BEST MEDICINE".

                      Oh, and then there's the sales letter that starts off, "HOW TO LIVE TO BE A HUNDRED!"

                      See if you can read that one with a straight face.

                      Alex
                      Are you looking at the ad that Drez posted a link to above?

                      Because the subhead and opening deck copy don't say anything about living to a hundred. I'm reading "For in it, a leading physician (who cured himself of dangerous illness with food alone)."

                      The book was titled "Food Is Your Best Medicine" so blame the publisher if you don't like it.

                      Unless you've read the book and can proof otherwise, the claim being made could be from the author of the book.

                      I've read far worse ads with a straight face so this is easy reading to me.
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                      • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
                        Originally Posted by MikeHumphreys View Post

                        Are you looking at the ad that Drez posted a link to above?
                        I was referring to another ad.

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

                          I was referring to another ad.

                          Alex
                          Well, the rest of us are talking about the ad that Drez posted.

                          So either join our conversation or post a link to the ad you're referring to.
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                          • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
                            Originally Posted by MikeHumphreys View Post

                            Well, the rest of us are talking about the ad that Drez posted.

                            So either join our conversation or post a link to the ad you're referring to.
                            LOL... rather demanding tone, wouldn't you say?

                            Go back through the posts (please), and you'll see what the subject is. And then you'll realize talking about another Schwartz ad that makes an outrageous claim is completely appropriate.

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

                              LOL... rather demanding tone, wouldn't you say?

                              Go back through the posts (please), and you'll see what the subject is. And then you'll realize talking about another Schwartz ad that makes an outrageous claim is completely appropriate.

                              Alex
                              The original post was offering a Gene Schwartz Health Secrets Book Copy Swipe File. That was the original subject until you derailed the thread talking about some other ad that you have an issue with that no one else has seen.

                              You want to critique an ad of Schwartz's... that's your prerogative and I suggest you start a separate thread. Some of the other members might enjoy dissecting an ad with you.

                              But to be fair to the late Gene Schwartz, I'd like to suggest keeping the critique specific to one ad rather than making blanket statements about someone else's work.

                              Gene's not available to defend his work (except via maybe the Ouija board) and I'd guess you wouldn't appreciate being treated that way yourself.

                              Mike

                              P.S. At this point, I'm signing off on this thread. I have a client project deadline to meet in a few days so it's time I buckle down and jump back into the copywriting cave.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
          Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

          That's laughable.

          The pre-head and headline alone make an outrageous claim...

          "... forget about drugs and realize that FOOD IS YOUR BEST MEDICINE"

          Penicillin has saved countless lives that "eating food" wouldn't have.

          Alex
          Yup, penicillin has saved lives...

          However, heart disease (which kills one out of every two of us in America today) has been openly regarded by the AMA and prestigious medical journals as being a lifestyle and diet disease. How many millions have died because they have eaten fried foods and a predominantly meat-based diet?

          How many millions of people have died from colon cancer (known to be a cancer that is intricately connected to diet)?

          People drink until their liver dies - something that they ingest.

          What is outrageous is the perception that what he said is outrageous.

          There are millions of American'swho don't go to doctors.

          A huge audience is ready-made for a marketer to make these claims... because they're substantiated by conventional science just as much as the woo woo box a lot of people often put nutrition into.
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          • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
            Originally Posted by Reflection Marketing View Post

            Yup, penicillin has saved lives...

            However, heart disease (which kills one out of every two of us in America today) has been openly regarded by the AMA and prestigious medical journals as being a lifestyle and diet disease. How many millions have died because they have eaten fried foods and a predominantly meat-based diet?

            How many millions of people have died from colon cancer (known to be a cancer that is intricately connected to diet)?

            People drink until their liver dies - something that they ingest.

            What is outrageous is the perception that what he said is outrageous.

            There are millions of American'swho don't go to doctors.

            A huge audience is ready-made for a marketer to make these claims... because they're substantiated by conventional science just as much as the woo woo box a lot of people often put nutrition into.
            Forgetting about drugs is outrageous in certain circumstances.

            Alex
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      I believe so Alex, because he uses Gary Bencivenga's rule, "Never make a claim that can't be backed up by the size of the proof".

      In this ad he sets the stage before making the claim with "world-famous physician" and "treats some of America’s leading celebrities".

      He names the celebs along with their comments, as well as licensed and practising for 50 years later on in the ad.

      You'll see Clayton Makepeace put some sort of credibility/claim to fame in the pre-head. Bob Bly now does it because Clayton taught him that.

      Gary says ads weakest points are their lack of supporting proof.

      B through to Z level copywriters pile on more extravagant claims and promises in which the market gets jaded.

      So to counter this, the marketer/copywriter comes in with a new mechanism to achieve the same result as those now "blind" ads.

      Peoples desire for the end result remains, they just want another way to achieve it.

      Examples in the weight loss industry


      Hoodia was the magic ingredient for a while last decade.

      The shine went off it, then came along **** berry.

      Hundreds of millions were made from each of them.

      So to summarize, always use proof to back up claims and promises...however if the market is jaded, look at using a common enemy to tell the market "If X is meant to be so good, then why is this happening?"

      There's always room for a whistle-blower and peoples advocate in a market.

      Best,
      Ewen



      Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

      He also had an amazing ability to make outrageous claims.

      Think he would have been as successful in this modern age of skepticism?

      Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author CharlieFiverr
    Think he would have been as successful in this modern age of skepticism?
    Good question Alex.

    Makes you wonder if any of the copywriting legends of the past would do relatively better in today's times - for whatever reason?

    And are we really more skeptical in these times or just numb to overused tactics (or both)?
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Ceskavich
    Hey Alex,

    Try to find Eugene Schwartz' talks to Rodale and Phillips, which outline his process for working on books, in order to create ads.

    Read these speeches once. Then let me know if you think Schwartz' success as one of the greatest copywriters history has ever known was based on fluke success, FTC negligence, or hype beyond belief.

    I'm not saying you're wrong - I'm simply saying you may be interested in the work that went into the claims.

    - Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    It's a no-brainer to address the need for drugs, when needed. However, this is about what sells. I could easily write a headline similar to what we're talking about and back it up with all kinds of reputable information, while also confronting the other side of the coin.

    This thread is a bit of a surprise for me. After all, part of being a fantastic copywriter is accentuating the positives about a product to create an intense need for the reader to purchase.

    A headline is only outrageous if it can't be backed up with fantastic copy to support the claim.

    This CAN be backed up... and any disclaimer that needs to be addressed doesn't harm the purchase value.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Ceskavich
    Oh man. This is Michael Fortin's board all over again...

    - Alex
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