Great White Seeks Dark Horse

13 replies
Attempting a small advert for a made up adventure holiday. Just practice but what are your thoughts? Thanks in advance. J



Great White Seeks Dark Horse


Swimming with a Great White shark is not for most people. In fact most of our customers are a bit of a dark horse. They like to do things a little differently. You won't see many Pringle jerseys around here.


The fact is life can be boring. It sucks for the most part. So once upon a time in a small village on the Eyre Peninsula.
We built a boat and bought a cage.
We white washed a beach house and threw a sign up in blue felt tip.


And ten years later we are still here.
And the sign is still there if a little sun faded.


On the first day...


You jump into one of our rusty green Land Rover Jeeps somewhere near the bus station in Port Lincoln. You'll know it's us. Were the one's who don't look like tourists.


After a short drive and a few sharp bends. You will be greeted by Jenny the operations manager. Jenny is the one in shorts who smiles a lot.


Your room for the week is sparse to say the least. You get a comfy bed and en-suite privacy. That's about it.


6AM the next morning Jenny won't be smiling as much. She will be banging on your door to get your butt into gear and join us at the pier. Where you will sit through some procedures. Wolf down a bacon sandwich and a Pepsi.
And then not throw up as we blast out into the blue.


6Am you will be fast asleep. 8Am you will be 5 metres underwater with some of the fiercest breathtaking killers this planet has ever seen.


Great White sharks of all sizes will circle the cage you have been lowered into. And snap every nerve you thought you ever had. The fear in your heart and the tension in your bones will become palpable. Until you feel so invigorated by terror that life will never be the same again.


Of course we will throw in a few good steaks and some beers over the course of your stay. And live music is always happening downstairs when the sun goes down and the rickety tables and chairs get pulled onto the decking.


I think we might have something called the internet too.
(I'll check with Jenny)


The phone number below is my direct line. You can call me and book your spot on the boat this weekend.


We charge $xxx per person per night.


That's your food and bed included, and of course the sharks.


Just bring the dark horse.






Charles


(Great White Adventures)
#dark #great #horse #seeks #white
  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    My first response was.....

    " You're making the same mistake as this guy.... http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...requested.html. "

    Then I realized, you ARE that guy.

    Read that ^ thread again, particularly my comment about your signature because you're making the same mistakes.

    If you want to use stories to sell, you have to hold EVERY word ruthlessly accountable to either advance the sale, or suffer deletion.

    Pretend you're a drill sargeant and every word is a new recruit standing in line for inspection. Then, get directly in their face a scream " What are you doing to advance the sale maggot?!"

    ...every time you catch a word, or sentence, leaning on its shovel and watching other words do all the work, give it a dishonorable discharge.

    Do the to this example above and you'll figure out real quick what you're doing wrong.

    Dismissed.
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    • Profile picture of the author JamesDLayton
      In other words in needs to be tighter than a priests alibi?

      Got it....

      J
      Signature
      "We are what we think about
      all day long." - Earl Nightingale
      One of the easiest transformations I ever undertook as a copywriter was reading that quote every day.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9371337].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JamesDLayton
    Deleted my sig too. It's not serving me.

    J
    Signature
    "We are what we think about
    all day long." - Earl Nightingale
    One of the easiest transformations I ever undertook as a copywriter was reading that quote every day.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9371343].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    James, do you want to be a copywriter or a short-story writer? This could be knocked into shape but you need to do your research and forget about all the fancy sh*t. This might help -

    "Great White Seeks Dark Horse
    You're trying to be too cute and it reads like a dating ad (which is what you were aiming for, no doubt)



    #1 on your bucket list

    Cage-Diving with Great White Sharks in Australia




    Swimming with Great White Sharks is the ultimate trip for adrenaline junkies. blah blah



    "The fact is life can be boring. It sucks for the most part." Huh? Says who?

    "So once upon a time in a small village on the Eyre Peninsula. "(Paint the picture - its in South Australia.

    "The Eyre Peninsula in South Australia is a seafood-lovers delight. Southern Bluefin Tuna, Yellowtail Kingfish and Pacific Oysters are farmed in Port Lincoln and Arno Bay.

    In the wild there are abalone, mussels, prawns and blue-swimmer crabs.

    Many natural heritage attractions can be found in the region's three National Parks, in numerous conservation parks and along the peninsula's extensive coastline.

    Ecotourism operators offer visitors opportunities to experience many of the region's iconic marine species either in or on the water.

    Visitors can snorkel or scuba-dive to witness the mass-breeding aggregation of Giant Australian Cuttlefish which occurs from May through August each year.

    From Port Lincoln, tourists can swim in a cage with Southern bluefin tuna, with a colony of Australian sea lions, or …

    cue "JAWS" soundtrack… enter a shark cage to observe Great White Sharks
    . Dar dum...dar dum...

    "We built a boat and bought a cage.
    We white washed a beach house and threw a sign up in blue felt tip." (sounds like some rinky-dink Third-World operation. It's anything but. Research Ron & Valerie Taylor diving in cages and providing footage for "JAWS".


    Rewrite all this - "And ten years later we are still here.
    And the sign is still there if a little sun faded.


    On the first day...


    "You jump into one of our rusty green Land Rover Jeeps somewhere near the bus station in Port Lincoln. You'll know it's us. Were the one's who don't look like tourists. "(What? Way to insult your tourist audience. And just so you know...Land Rovers are NEVER called "Jeeps" and you won't find many left - they're collectors items. Aussies drive Jap 4WD in the Outback. Never Hummers - they are too wide for the outback tracks.


    "After a short drive and a few sharp bends. You will be greeted by Jenny the operations manager. Jenny is the one in shorts who smiles a lot. (weak)


    Your room for the week is sparse to say the least. You get a comfy bed and en-suite privacy. That's about it. (again - you make it sound Third World)


    "6AM the next morning Jenny won't be smiling as much. (Huh? Why not? ) "She will be banging on your door to get your butt (Aussies don't say "butt" but "arse") into gear and join us at the pier. Where you will sit through some procedures. Wolf down a bacon sandwich and a Pepsi. (Hardly - cup of tea far more likely)
    "And then not throw up as we blast out into the blue. (Throw up the disgusting bacon sandwich? WTF)


    "6Am you will be fast asleep. 8Am you will be 5 metres underwater with some of the fiercest breathtaking killers this planet has ever seen.


    Great White sharks of all sizes will circle the cage you have been lowered into. And snap every nerve you thought you ever had. The fear in your heart and the tension in your bones will become palpable. Until you feel so invigorated by terror that life will never be the same again. (weak)


    "Of course we will throw in a few good steaks and some beers over the course of your stay. (just a few?) And live music is always happening downstairs when the sun goes down and the rickety tables and chairs get pulled onto the decking.


    I think we might have something called the internet too.
    (I'll check with Jenny) There's that Third World BS again.


    The phone number below is my direct line. You can call me and book your spot on the boat this weekend.

    Stronger as "Don't miss the boat - Call me now - there's a shark-cage with your name on it. "


    We charge $xxx per person per night.


    That's your food and bed included, and of course the sharks. Better as "The Sharks are extra...just kidding".


    Just bring the dark horse. No






    Charles


    (Great White Adventures)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9371402].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author JamesDLayton
      As always thank you for your input CN. I knew the jeep thing was off right away and butt for that matter I have relatives in Brisbane. So I knew a little about the wording but left is at the 1st draft just to get a response. The 3rd world angle you mention was just an attempt at provoking a thought of simplicity. I am guessing most customers would be city dwellers? So the idea of a simple beach house with quick easy food and a no nonsense approach was my angle. Maybe it was wrong? Your sentence about research was bang on I wrote this after a quick peek on google maps. If i dug around for an hour i would get a feel for the area.

      As an aside. Do you think something like this would work better as a direct mail letter or an ad in a newspaper? Not that I'm using it at all it's just a question.

      I know about Ron Taylor. I used to be good friends with a buddy of his in NZ. And i've seen the footage, hilarious that they used a midget in some of the shots to increase the sharks size on camera. Not so funny when he nearly died.

      Again thank you so much for your time.

      J
      Signature
      "We are what we think about
      all day long." - Earl Nightingale
      One of the easiest transformations I ever undertook as a copywriter was reading that quote every day.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9371466].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
        Banned
        Originally Posted by JamesDLayton View Post

        I know about Ron Taylor. I used to be good friends with a buddy of his in NZ. And i've seen the footage, hilarious that they used a midget in some of the shots to increase the sharks size on camera. Not so funny when he nearly died.
        So why not use that in your pitch? That's gold.

        Google is your friend - The Midget Stuntman In Jaws You Never Got To See | Fact Fiend
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    • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
      Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post

      James, do you want to be a copywriter or a short-story writer? This could be knocked into shape but you need to do your research and forget about all the fancy sh*t. This might help -

      "Great White Seeks Dark Horse
      You're trying to be too cute and it reads like a dating ad (which is what you were aiming for, no doubt)



      #1 on your bucket list

      Cage-Diving with Great White Sharks in Australia





      Swimming with Great White Sharks is the ultimate trip for adrenaline junkies. blah blah



      "The fact is life can be boring. It sucks for the most part." Huh? Says who?

      "So once upon a time in a small village on the Eyre Peninsula. "(Paint the picture - its in South Australia.

      "The Eyre Peninsula in South Australia is a seafood-lovers delight. Southern Bluefin Tuna, Yellowtail Kingfish and Pacific Oysters are farmed in Port Lincoln and Arno Bay.

      In the wild there are abalone, mussels, prawns and blue-swimmer crabs.

      Many natural heritage attractions can be found in the region's three National Parks, in numerous conservation parks and along the peninsula's extensive coastline.

      Ecotourism operators offer visitors opportunities to experience many of the region's iconic marine species either in or on the water.

      Visitors can snorkel or scuba-dive to witness the mass-breeding aggregation of Giant Australian Cuttlefish which occurs from May through August each year.

      From Port Lincoln, tourists can swim in a cage with Southern bluefin tuna, with a colony of Australian sea lions, or …

      cue "JAWS" soundtrack… enter a shark cage to observe Great White Sharks. Dar dum...dar dum...

      "We built a boat and bought a cage.
      We white washed a beach house and threw a sign up in blue felt tip." (sounds like some rinky-dink Third-World operation. It's anything but. Research Ron & Valerie Taylor diving in cages and providing footage for "JAWS".


      Rewrite all this - "And ten years later we are still here.
      And the sign is still there if a little sun faded.


      On the first day...


      "You jump into one of our rusty green Land Rover Jeeps somewhere near the bus station in Port Lincoln. You'll know it's us. Were the one's who don't look like tourists. "(What? Way to insult your tourist audience. And just so you know...Land Rovers are NEVER called "Jeeps" and you won't find many left - they're collectors items. Aussies drive Jap 4WD in the Outback. Never Hummers - they are too wide for the outback tracks.


      "After a short drive and a few sharp bends. You will be greeted by Jenny the operations manager. Jenny is the one in shorts who smiles a lot. (weak)


      Your room for the week is sparse to say the least. You get a comfy bed and en-suite privacy. That's about it. (again - you make it sound Third World)


      "6AM the next morning Jenny won't be smiling as much. (Huh? Why not? ) "She will be banging on your door to get your butt (Aussies don't say "butt" but "arse") into gear and join us at the pier. Where you will sit through some procedures. Wolf down a bacon sandwich and a Pepsi. (Hardly - cup of tea far more likely)
      "And then not throw up as we blast out into the blue. (Throw up the disgusting bacon sandwich? WTF)


      "6Am you will be fast asleep. 8Am you will be 5 metres underwater with some of the fiercest breathtaking killers this planet has ever seen.


      Great White sharks of all sizes will circle the cage you have been lowered into. And snap every nerve you thought you ever had. The fear in your heart and the tension in your bones will become palpable. Until you feel so invigorated by terror that life will never be the same again. (weak)


      "Of course we will throw in a few good steaks and some beers over the course of your stay. (just a few?) And live music is always happening downstairs when the sun goes down and the rickety tables and chairs get pulled onto the decking.


      I think we might have something called the internet too.
      (I'll check with Jenny) There's that Third World BS again.


      The phone number below is my direct line. You can call me and book your spot on the boat this weekend.

      Stronger as "Don't miss the boat - Call me now - there's a shark-cage with your name on it. "


      We charge per person per night.


      That's your food and bed included, and of course the sharks. Better as "The Sharks are extra...just kidding".


      Just bring the dark horse. No






      Charles


      (Great White Adventures)
      @OP...

      Notice what these examples do that yours didn't...the story creates a "preview" of the service....one which takes place in the reader's imagination.

      That's their first "experience" with your product or service...the imagined experience. The clearer and more believable you make that experience, the more they'll crave the real thing.

      Clear and credible beats cute and clever.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9371874].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    So the idea of a simple beach house with quick easy food and a no nonsense approach was my angle.
    Crappy old Landies...Spartan accommodation...simple food...rusty shark cage. Yeah that could work.

    See Port Lincoln and Die!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9371799].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author JamesDLayton
      Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post

      Crappy old Landies...Spartan accommodation...simple food...rusty shark cage. Yeah that could work.

      See Port Lincoln and Die!

      There's probably a decent chance of that if the cage falls apart
      Signature
      "We are what we think about
      all day long." - Earl Nightingale
      One of the easiest transformations I ever undertook as a copywriter was reading that quote every day.
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  • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
    Don't know that I'll say this very well but the way you structure your sentences really grates on me.

    Most of them are pretty short (which isn't bad overall) and often can be combined to make a slightly longer, but easier to read, sentence with a comma.

    Now, I'm no writer or English major (actually a high school drop out), just an average Joe reading your stuff. Take it for what it's worth.

    But the way you have so many short sentences in a row. Really makes the reading experience a drag for me. I mentally stop at each period. It makes for longer reading. No flow. At least not for me.

    I tried reading your other post. And only got a third of the way through. Before deciding it was just too much work. It just felt long to me.

    I think you have some good ideas, I just have a hard time reading the way you write.
    Signature
    I may be riding a trike, but it's a badass trike.

    **CAUTION**
    Advice and opinions in the post above are from an amateur. Stay back 50 feet, salt shaker at the ready.
    You've been warned.
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  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    Ahhhh, I'm impressed with your intestinal fortitude. You keep coming back for more and that could be a good thing if you can make the gut kicks work for you.

    That said, write tight. I've explained killing your babies before. Learn it, live it.

    Second, this is a problem creative writers turned copywriters seem to have. I've encountered this problem with my current trainee too, so you're not alone: you love metaphors.

    That's not necessarily a bad thing when done well. But you love creating metaphors that require serious thought/interpretation. Your buyer wants to know if you can solve their problem.

    They want a yes/no/Here's why answer. You're giving them story time wrapped in a riddle.

    If they have to spend even a fraction of a second trying to figure out what the hell you mean by dark horse, they're gone. And no amount of clever writing in the world will bring them back.

    You must spell it out. Clearly. Enticingly. Without talking down to them or insulting them. Leave no room for interpretation. This, along with a vivid picture of the pain or the pleasure (which you're more than capable of painting), is bound to leave them salivating.
    Signature

    Aspiring copywriters: if you need 1:1 advice from an experienced copy chief, head over to my Phone a Friend page.

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    • Profile picture of the author JamesDLayton
      Of course I come back!! I am trying to learn from people who know better. It's how we all grow isn't it. I'm very thick skinned (or thick) so this all helps me a great deal. You guys are all helping me fine tune what I know I am capable of. So thank you <3

      James
      Signature
      "We are what we think about
      all day long." - Earl Nightingale
      One of the easiest transformations I ever undertook as a copywriter was reading that quote every day.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9373967].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
        Originally Posted by JamesDLayton View Post

        Of course I come back!! I am trying to learn from people who know better. It's how we all grow isn't it. I'm very thick skinned (or thick) so this all helps me a great deal. You guys are all helping me fine tune what I know I am capable of. So thank you <3

        James
        That's uncommonly refreshing to hear.
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