In my last post, I talked about where Big Ideas come from.
And today I wanted to talk about another part of a winning Big Idea: Mass desire.
This is one of my favorite copywriting tips from the legendary Eugene Schwartz, which is that your Big Idea has to channel a mass desire.
He defined a mass desire is a “public spread of a private want.”
Meaning, privately, there’s a problem or a desire that each of our prospects wants. And publicly, there are enough of them to make the product/solution profitable.
So our job as a copywriter is to find one of these mass desires and amplify it. Because unless we hitch our wagon to a mass desire, we’re stuck trying to create a desire out of nothing — convincing people that they should care. And you can imagine how well that works.
So let’s make things easier (and more profitable) for everyone, and just find a mass desire, k?
Now, according to Schwartz, there are two types of mass desires:
#1 Permanent forces. These include desires/problems like wanting to be attractive. Or wanting to be healthy or make money. Those things never, ever change. People have wanted them forever and probably always will.
#2 The forces of change. These include trends, like when Hummers got really popular despite the fact that they’re gas guzzlers. (Or when Priuses became a status symbol even though they’re apparently not as environmentally friendly as we’re led to believe.)
Forces of change also include mass education. For example, the more we collectively learn about how we affect the ocean, the more we as a society might do things like buy reusable bags or reef-friendly sunblock.
There are hundreds of mass desires out there at any given time, and as copywriters, we have to pay attention to them.
That way when it’s time to write a promotion, we can find the most powerful mass desire that could be applied to our product. And then we amplify it.
And we amplify it throughout the copy, starting with the headline. Then every feature and benefit of our product satisfies that mass desire, as well.
If you do this right, it’s like you’re just riding a wave. Versus trying to paddle against a current.
For more on this, check out chapter one of Breakthrough Advertising. (Also, psst…this month I’m going to run a free 5-day challenge to help you build your swipe file. And the grand prize is a copy of Breakthrough Advertising, courtesy of Brian Kurtz!) I’ll announce more details over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, make sure you’re in my Control Freaks Facebook group here.