Jul
29

The Power of Persuasive Copywriting: How the NFL Used One Word and a Lobbyist Secret to Attack Tom Brady

posted on July 29th 2015 in Advertising Stories & Advertising Tips & Copywriting with 0 Comments

The Power of Persuasive Copywriting in Legistlation

Learn the 1 Powerful Word the NFL Used to Steer America’s Perception of Tom Brady

(Plus, get 8 great examples of how persuasive copywriting was unleased upon America.)

 

One word.

For those who love marketing and the power of the written word, there was one single word used in the Tom Brady appeal decision that earned the NLF public relations guru his paycheck.

(What does an NFL PR guru make? A bajillion kazzilion dollars or bajillion babillion dollars?)

This one word was most likely changed a few hundred times in a sweaty room, debated, written on a white board, erased, written larger and finally circled.

What is it?

Destroyed.

NFL Tom Brady Deflategate Power of Persuasive Copywriting

 

 

OK, stop. What images pop into your head when you read the word “destroyed?”

Sledgehammers. Stomping. Maybe some dynamite.

Now what pops into your head when you read that Tom Brady “destroyed” his cell phone before the NFL could access his text messages?

Sledgehammers. Stomping. Maybe some dynamite.

(Maybe Gronk using all of the above.)

Lochness-Deflategate-Tom-Brady-Power-of-Persuasive-Copywriting

 

This is the power of copywriting.

The NFL could have used “thrown away,” “exchanged” or “upgraded” (which is what most normal human beings do when they get a new phone).

They didn’t.

They used “destroyed.”

The power of copywriting is alive and well within the NFL headquarters. And they’ve taken their cue from political lobbyists and interest groups (and their hordes of PR teams).

Here are a few powerful examples of persuasive copywriting unleashed upon America by lobbyists:

  1. Obamacare – If you’re a Republican, you automatically hate the Healthcare Reform Act after reading that name. Boom. The power of perception.
  2. Reagonomics—If you were a Democrat in the 80s, you instantly hated “trickle-down economics.”
  3. USA PATRIOT Act – It is your American duty to support this! If not, you’re a communist! Oh, by the way, did you know that USA PATRIOT Act is an acronym: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism. Gross.
  4. No Child Left Behind Act – Who here is against leaving a child behind? I dare you to raise your evil hand!
  5. AMBER Alert Act – A bit exploitative of an actual abducted child, even though it’s memorable, but that’s one man’s opinion. Stands for “America’s Missing-Broadcast Emergency Response.”
  6. Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act – Geez, this one may get people talking.
  7. Direct Student Loan Act – No more red tape. This is going directly to the students.
  8. Crime Reduction Act – If you’re against this crime reduction, then you’re pro-crime.

How crazy has naming bills become in legislation?

Representative Mike Honda of California introduced a bill in April 2015 called the Accountability and Congressional Responsibility On Naming Your Motions Act, which prohibits the addition of words to the bill titles simply to create an acronym.1

Oh, the irony. An acronym for a bill that prohibits the use of acronyms!

Behold, the power of persuasion through copywriting.

This perception versus reality was actually used to create one of the most influential print advertising campaigns ever.

 

Rolling Stone Ads Power of Persuasive Copywriting

Rolling Stone needed to entice advertisers to give them cash money, but found that advertisers thought their readership was just a bunch of hippies.

Thus, the famous perception vs reality ad series. (Which increased ad revenue 200% over 6 years.)

Your Next Steps to Creating Persuasive Copywriting

  1. Start with your target audience.
  2. Find out their current perception of your brand or your client’s brand.
  3. Brainstorm persuasive headlines and content that sways their perception. (Make sure it’s based upon truth.)
  4. Be lethal in your cutting of copy and headlines. Trim the fat. Kill the “OK” headlines. Keep the great ones.
  5. Write 25 more headlines that beat the snot out of the best headlines you have. (David Ogilvy, god of advertising, would write at least 27 headlines per Sears ad.)
  6. Become a lobbyist or an NFL employee.

Remember: one word is all it takes sometimes to persuade or convert someone.

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1Huffington Post, 2015

 

About the author

Chad Rucker Chad has spent 17 years creating content and ideas for brands such as Verizon Wireless, Dunkin Donuts, Michelin and BMW. He's won an Obie Best of Show; National Addys; Employee of the Year; and ADchievement Awards. He is currently creative director at Jackson Marketing during the day, and moonlights on nights and weekends as Lochness.

Chad has spent 17 years creating content and ideas for brands such as Verizon Wireless, Dunkin Donuts, Michelin and BMW. He's won an Obie Best of Show; National Addys; Employee of the Year; and ADchievement Awards. He is currently creative director at Jackson Marketing during the day, and moonlights on nights and weekends as Lochness.