Long John Silver on writing ads
The whole particulars of a talk with an old time
|“Know your quarry, I say, first and last; keep ‘em in your deadlights, lay your course, and stay it. Dooty is dooty, shipmate. Take your bearings, and when you know who they are, and what manner of people they be, why, let her rip. And if you find that in the creative lies the more pleasuresome dooty, you’ll thank old John for getting you close by enough to make it count.”
Rouse their interest
“Now to number two – get you your quarry’s attention and grip it tight. Now’s the time for your cut and rip creative! I would set no limits to what gentlemen might consider shipshape, or might not, as the case were. Cut loose of custom, and cut loose of yourself. Ah, that’s work to put the shakes upon you, cutting loose of yourself!
“What’s to your fancy ain’t worth a biscuit – it’s what’s to your quarry’s fancy that does it. You’ll make a note of this here about cut-and-rip – sometimes you thrust, sometimes you slash, and sometimes you parry. And all times, you hold your quarry’s eyes on that edge, that competitiveedge, in a manner of speaking.”
Reel ‘em in alongside
“Once your quarry is watching, that’s when you have to be careful. To write sweet copy, you’ll work hard and you’ll speak soft. I’m all for argyment; I never seen good come out o’ threatening. Nor lying neither. You can’t touch pitch and not be mucked.
“‘Tain’t rousing now, it’s reeling seals it, you may lay to that. Lead your quarry along hand over hand. Take it slow, lad, slow, for they might break from your argyment in a twinkle of an eye, if it was seen to hurry. At the end, you don’t want none of those doubts a-rising, unlooked for, like the devil at prayers. Gently, gently, you lay ‘em athwart.”
Relieve ‘em of their booty
“Now you’ve broached ‘em to, fetch ahead and get those doubloons!
“Them’s the rules, and that’s my story and how I did my possible in spite o’ fate or fortune, say I! Ah, you that’s young – you and me might have done a power of good together. Here’s to ourselves, and hold your luff, plenty of prizes and plenty of duff.”