(Ryan Patrick is a contributing editor to The Daily Blur. He’s not only handsome but a mighty fine writer. You can check out his growing archive of posts here.)
Last week, as I was driving home from the airport following a memorable flight back from a great meeting in Orlando (remind me sometime to tell you about my seat-mate, Joe), I heard a radio commercial that opened with this line:
“Do you want to be in the market for new windows?”
Read it again. I’ll wait.
What do you think? Is this the dumbest opening line ever?
This business didn’t want to know if I was in the market for new windows. They asked if I WANTED to be in the market for new windows.
Have you ever wanted to be in the market for windows? Like, ever? Me neither.
The madness continues. This morning, during breakfast, I heard this opening line on a TV commercial:
“You’ve waited all year for something this amazing.”
Oh boy! What could it be? A cure for cancer? Peace in the Middle East? The cancellation of Keeping Up With The Kardashians?
Nope. Sadly, it was none of those.
So what IS this amazing something that I’ve been waiting for all year?
It’s the all-new redesigned 2014 Chevy Impala.
Y’know, on my list of “Amazing Things To Wait For,” the new Chevy Impala is waaaay at the bottom, right after “My insurance renewal” and just before “Wanting to be in the market for new windows.”
The opening line or headline of your advertisement is your one and only to engage the listener, reader, or viewer. Nobody is going to sit through a boring, irrelevant, clichéd opening statement in the off chance that the message will suddenly become meaningful.
You don’t have to be creative. You simply have to put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
Think about your customer. What is she dealing with right now? What itch does she have that your service or product can scratch? How can you make her life better?
There’s your open.
“New windows can save you 30 percent on your energy bills.”
“Do you lift weights just so you can muster the strength to open your old, stubborn windows?”
“Add up to ten-thousand dollars to the value of your home with new windows.”
“Homes with old windows are easier to break into.”
Identify a problem. Offer a solution.
Suddenly, I want to be in the market for your product.