My how times change. The magazine ads after the jump are… interesting.
We’ve got fannies, diarrhea plagued playboys, “chubby” girls, women who would shoot themselves in the head due to a bad hair day, cocaine tooth drops, phallic gaming equipment, inappropriate use of a child in advertising, and a very young Nick Nolte.
This thing was all over my Facebook feed. Awkward, cute, strange. I watched it, curious about the backstory… who would think to do such a thing? With over 46 million views as of this morning, it’s a viral sensation, capturing a moment of pure… something.
But then things turned a tad curious.
The New York Times best summed up the situation with a story reporting the beautiful, viral vid was, indeed, an ad for a clothing company.
Melissa Coker, 35, the founder and creative director of the clothing company Wren, commissioned the video to showcase her clothing line’s fall collection for Style.com’s Video Fashion Week. Style.com had created the video series for brands that might lack the financial wherewithal to put on a runway show during Fashion Week.
Did it work? Yup.
Ms. Coker said that there’s been a “significant bump” in sales on Wren’s online store since the video made its debut. And the song accompanying the video, Soko’s “We Might Be Dead by Tomorrow,” sold 10,000 copies in North America on Tuesday and Wednesday. Her album also sold an additional 1,000 copies, said Bryan Ling, the co-president of Community Music, which licensed Soko’s album in North America.
In her defense, there’s this:
And Ms. Coker said that there was no intention of hiding her company’s involvement. The video flashes “Wren presents” at the beginning and also mentions the company in the credits. “There was no part of it where this was a secret,” Ms. Coker said.
So… good? Bad? As a copywriter, I’d say it was rather good. The fact they didn’t hide the branding, to me, makes the project one heck of an effective viral ad effort. The fact people didn’t really notice the whole “Wren Presents” at the beginning makes it an even more interesting case study, considering the jump in sales.
Down side? The people in the vid weren’t “walk off the street” folks. They were evidently models and/or actors. Also, the branding at the beginning of the film? The whole “Wren Presents” thingie? Yeah. It’s on the vid for a very short time. So, it could be construed as a tad misleading.
Either way, I have a hunch we’ll see many more of these in the future. Heck, we’ve even got a parody, giving the original vid even more traction. NSFW, btw:
Turns out, at least some of the attractive strangers (why are they always attractive strangers?!) are actually models or actors. Slate has identified a few of them, which makes us feel better knowing that not every person plucked off the street looks like he stepped out of an Urban Outfitters catalog.
True love is dead and everything is just a cynical plot to extract your money, it emerged today, when the First Kiss video featuring “strangers” making out was found to be just a commercial for an autumn/winter clothing line.
The video/article I posted yesterday has been picked up by a few interesting media outlets.
The New Yorker listed the article in their “Weekend Reading” recommendation and calls it one of the “Best Magazine Stories of the Week.”
Boing Boing picked up the article calling it, and “Incredibly Detailed Look at Internet Marketing Scams.” A quote:
The Verge‘s Joseph L. Flatley delves into the world of Internet marketing scams (those stupid spam pitches you get for “lead generation” and such) in eye-watering detail. Fundamentally, these things are exactly what they appear to be: con artists who suck money out of desperate people by lying to them about the money they can make with “work from home” businesses.
Here’s an interesting article outlining some of the dastardly deeds committed by some of the best-known online gurus.
Instead of being a conduit for help, the internet was just one more part of a complicated trap — a trap which perverts intimacy and turns it into money. The disembodied voice that identified itself as Ron Martino was able to single out Joseph, fabricate a bond, and then exploit that trust for financial gain. And after he had Joseph’s money, Martino simply vanished. Almost like he never really existed.
I began my illustrious freelance career with visions of tweed coats, elbow patches, cigars, and pensive photos. My mind’s eye saw a cluttered office, checks strewn across my desk, and waking to one illuminating thought after another. I believed I’d tap at the keyboard, mail queries, read my articles on glossy paper, and assignments would flow like water.
Small problem with that scenario. Tweed coats don’t look good on me. I don’t smoke, never have. And I usually wind up looking goofy in photos, no matter how hard I try to strike a pensive pose.
Ah, but my desk is cluttered. I do occasionally find a stray check in amongst the mounds of papers. But illuminating thoughts? Bah.
There’s a fundamental problem with my original scenario: my freelancing model missed a crucial element necessary for financial success.
For example, the cash I expected to earn from writing articles just didn’t add up to the numbers I hoped they would. Seriously. Spending weeks writing, rewriting, and finally submitting an article, only to reap a whopping 25 bucks just didn’t pay the bills.
Then I decided to write books. Unfortunately the small royalties barely covered my promo expenses. It’s exciting to sell books, but we needed some large volume sales to make this endeavor financially worthwhile.
How ‘bout publishing? Again, after wholesaler discounts, distributor expenses, author royalties, and postage, we’re talking some pretty slim profits. And again, we’re talking volume sales to lower expenses and prop profits.
But then something magical happened. I discovered the wacky world of copywriting.
In case you’re unfamiliar with copywriting, a copywriter is a master persuader. They write ads, direct mail, sales letters, and such.
And (little did I know) proficient copywriters earn a lot. World Class Copywriters earn astronomical fees.
Copywriting isn’t difficult. But there are definite tricks to the trade. And you can cut your learning curve by years if you receive proper training.
But here’s where things really get cool.
Turns out these new persuasive skills made it far easier to write awesome queries. Boom. Article sales jumped.
Next, I revised the sales copy for my books. Boom. Another jump in sales.
I applied “copywriting language” to everything I wrote and kaboom… even more sales, more exposure, new readers found me.
And I haven’t even gotten into copywriting as a business: writing for clients turned out to be quite lucrative as well.
Now, I love to write. It’s my passion. There’s nothing like receiving a complementary e-mail outlining how something I’ve written has made someone else’s life easier, gave them hope, helped guide them through this wacky profession.
On the other hand, I hate marketing. It sucks. One rejection and I’m down for the count. At least for a while.
But by combining my writing skills with copywriting psychology, my self-promo time is automatically sliced in at least half because I’ve learned stealth persuasion to draw clients my way.
So now, clients (and publishers and editors) are attracted to me rather than my gunning after their very fractured attention.
So… where does the “farming” come in?
Simple. Rather than concentrate on one aspect of your writing career, think like a farmer. Plant many seeds and watch them grow at different rates.
Instead of becoming an article writer extraordinaire, write articles when the spirit moves you. Submit them when they’re polished. Start writing the novel that’s burning your heart. Eventually publish it. Research a nonfiction title. Write ad copy.
You can even take this further. I speak to the local high school. Elementary schools, too. How ‘bout local organizations and the Chamber of Commerce? Once a businessperson sees you in action, they’ll be hooked.
Just keep planting seeds (remember, you’re a “farmer”) and before you know it, you’ve got more paying clients than you know what to do with.
But copywriting’s the linchpin that binds all these endeavors.
That’s because effective persuaders control their destiny… and their income.
So here’s to effective “farming” and inevitable success.