Colin Theriot

Emotional Manipulation Through Shared Imagery (It’s Easy!)

Claes Oldenburg

“I am for the art of ice cream cones dropped on concrete.” – Claes Oldenburg, Born Jan. 28, 1929. This is our shared art also. The art of concise, visual imagery that evokes a reaction formed of personal emotions dredged from inside the audience, rather than from our words. These reactions are more powerful than …

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Copywriting isn’t “Life or Death” Except When It Is. (And It Always Is.)

Mordecai Richler

“Fundamentally, all writing is about the same thing; it’s about dying, about the brief flicker of time we have here, and the frustration that it creates.” – Mordecai Richler, Born. Jan. 27, 1931. We sellers of stuff, our products and services all directly or indirectly relate to death. Evading it. Escaping it. Thwarting it. Making …

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They Can’t Walk Away From the Sale if You Trap Them in a Super Fun Maze.

Edith Wharton

“When people ask for time, it’s always for time to say no. Yes has one more letter in it, but it doesn’t take half as long to say.” – Edith Wharton, Born Jan. 24, 1862. When it comes to making sales, if a prospect says they want to think about it, it means they aren’t …

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Coffee? Whiskey? Weed? Noise? Tea? Silence? What Do You Need to Sit Down and Write?

Derek Walcott

“Any serious attempt to try to do something worthwhile is ritualistic.” – Derek Walcott, Born Jan. 23, 1930. Are you serious about what you’re doing or what you want to do? I once heard a talk by late copywriter Eugene Schwartz where he talked about how he keeps his desk and surroundings when he writes. …

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The Bar is Set at Only Slightly Better than Boring.

Francis Picabia

“A new gadget that lasts only five minutes is worth more than an immortal work that bores everyone.” – Francis Picabia, Born Jan. 22, 1878. Quit being so artsy fartsy and publish. Publish now. And later. Again. Constantly. Continuously. Not necessarily regularly. Nor predictably. Not completely, anyway. Especially here, online. Specifically here, on social media. …

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Making Your Minor Marvels More Mysterious May Magnify How Much They Matter

Francis Bacon

“The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” – Francis Bacon, Born Jan. 21, 1561. You’ll see me waffle on whether what sales copywriters and ad men do is “art” or not. But whether it is or isn’t – that’s irrelevant to whether the methods of CREATING art are useful to us …

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How to Warp to the Next Level Without Beating the Boss

Will Wright

“Players like to know that they’ve discovered things that even the designers didn’t know were in the game.” – Will Wright, Born Jan. 20, 1960. People who grew up in the original Nintendo Entertainment System era have a unique insight into persuasive language. In particular, an advantage when it comes to the framing of information …

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