Recently one day, I stumbled across this remarkable print ad and asked myself the question: “How’d this ad get into my possession?”
Then it hit me.
Surely, this full page ad was no “mere mortal” ad. I reached for the 520-page transcript from the Bencivenga 100 Seminar with hope… and sure enough this ad on page 346 looked right back at me.
Imagine a newspaper reader in 1951 coming across this ad and exclaiming:
“Mail order lobsters!?”
Neurotoxic shellfish poisoning wouldn’t be on the menu for diners today, nor then, especially in the pre-overnight shipping age. And that creates one heck of an objection. And when you’ve got an objection that large, you can’t wait till the fine print to tackle it.
This isn’t just some of the best food copywriting you’ll see, it also demonstrates how the copy mechanism stokes curiosity and excitement for the product.
They Thought I Was Crazy To Ship
LIVE MAINE LOBSTERS
As Far As 1,800 Miles From The Ocean
BUT I HAVE ALREADY SHIPPED 18,685 OF THEM AND MY CUSTOMERS ARE DELIGHTED!
What’s so compelling about this lead isn’t just how the headline comes out SWINGING at the inevitable objection the reader would have, but how it quantifies this remarkable gourmet food offering.
See how the advertiser quantifies the the epic 1,800 mile delivery range. We’re not talking about shipping from the coast of Maine to Norfolk, Connecticut. No, this is a cross country operation clear to the center of Kansas. And the 18,685 delighted customers just BECKONS you into the copy.
The great Gary Bencivenga sure found something special in this ad and he went on to elaborate on its magic when you’re facing a KILLER objection.
As the advertiser points out: “I started to advertise, using a modest little one inch announcement. It brought a rush of orders. Somebody said, “Why not run a big ad?” Well, as you see, I have finally got up courage to do it. Here I am, splurging with a full page!”
Indeed, Saltwater Farm stepped out LARGE with this ad — one any copywriter or copy chief would be proud of — even 70 years later!