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A Recipe for Ads that Break the Mould

Posted on January 11, 2012 @ 8:44 PM in Uncategorized

Whenever I’m invited to a turkey dinner, I always volunteer to bring the cranberry sauce.

Because I’m a cranberry sauce snob.

This year, my hostess said, “Oh, don’t worry about it. No one even likes cranberry sauce.”

Uh-huh. That’s only because they grew up on the same stuff I did. That uniformly red gelatinous blob that slithers out of a can then rests wobbling on a dish of your mother’s best china.

Other entrées on that festive table tantalize all our senses.

But there sits that homely jelly. Untouched. Unloved. Usually uneaten, its quivering round sides still bearing the imprint of grooves, like stretch marks from the lowly tin can that birthed it.

Weeks before a holiday, we scour the flyers to flush out the bargains as we hunt for the perfect bird to grace our table. Choosing the side dishes is a marketing plan of a different, but no less critical nature.

Guests would scoff, never to return, if we stooped so low as to serve instant mashed with that magnificent, beautifully browned bird.

Wherefore, then, the bland canned cran?

Because it’s cheap? Convenient? Easy?

Maybe that’s just the way you’ve always done it?

Making it from scratch takes all of ten minutes. It’s delicious, full of antioxidants and vitamin C. It’s a gorgeous ruby red, redolent with the scent of orange.

Here’s how. (Stay with me here. There IS a point!).

Easy Cranberry Sauce with Orange & Grand Marnier

In a heavy saucepan, bring 1 cup of water and ¼ to ½ cup of white sugar to a boil.

Make sure all the sugar has dissolved.

Rinse 1 bag of fresh cranberries and pick out any spoiled ones (with brown or mushy spots).

Add the berries to the boiling sugar water and stir frequently.

Add a handful of coarsely grated fresh orange peel.

After about 8 minutes, the berries will start to “pop”.

Smoosh them with your wooden spoon so you see crushed, not whole, berries.

Remove from heat and stir in 1-2 oz of Grand Marnier liqueur.

The sauce will thicken as it cools.

Store in refrigerator or freeze. Bring up to room temp to serve.

Leftover cranberry sauce is delicious stirred and baked into lemon loaf or muffins.

That got me thinking about all the ads I see that do nothing to tempt us or engage our senses, no matter how appetizing the product or starved the reader.

Just follow the same recipe!

Start with quality ingredients: fresh ideas, words and concepts, not canned. Cull the bad ones. Go with the gems.

Sweeten the pot as needed: discount, bonus, some kind of offer.

Apply as much heat as necessary to get the job done: time limit, scarcity, fear of missing out.

Stir emotions with all five senses. Emotion sells, logic justifies.

Make sure your copy “pops”. Choose tasty, tempting words.

Like a proven recipe, a guarantee will reverse the consumer’s risk.

Serve and enjoy the fruits of your labour: use a direct call to action for measurable results.

Leftovers? Recycle or repurpose the content, if possible.

YIELD: Copy that COOKS!

Now you can stuff those advertising turkeys. As Mr. Carlson learned the hard way at WKRP, they just don’t fly.


What’s your recipe for advertising success?

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