By Claude C. Hopkins
Chapter 18 - Negative Advertising
To attack a rival is never good advertising.
Don't point out others' faults. It is not permitted in
the best mediums. It is never good policy. The selfish
purpose is apparent. It looks unfair, not sporty. If you
abhor knockers, always appear a good fellow.
Show the bright side, the happy and attractive side, not
the dark and uninviting side of things. Show beauty, not
homeliness; health, not sickness. Don't show the wrinkles
you propose to remove, but the face as it will appear.
Your customers know all about the wrinkles.
In advertising a dentifrice, show pretty teeth, not bad
teeth. Talk of coming good conditions, not conditions
which exist. In advertising clothes, picture well-dressed
people, not the shabby. Picture successful men, not failures,
when you advertise a business course. Picture what others
wish to be, not what they may be now.
We are attracted by sunshine, beauty, happiness, health,
success. Then point the way to them, not the way out of
Picture envied people, not the envious.
Tell people what to do, not what to avoid.
Make your every ad breathe good cheer. We always dodge
a Lugubrious Blue.
Assume that people will do what you ask. Say, "Send
now for this sample." Don't say, "Why do you
neglect this offer?" That suggests that people are
neglecting. Invite them to follow the crowd.
Compare the results of two ads, one negative, one positive.
One presenting the dark side, one the bright side. One
warning, the other inviting. You will be surprised. You
will find that the positive ad outpulls the other four
to one, if you have our experience.
The "Before and after taking" ads are follies
of the past. They never had a place save with the afflicted.
Never let their memory lead you to picture the gloomy
side of things.