A stunning example, or a skip?

A stunning example, or a skip?

It’s almost farcical …

And if it wasn’t because my wife needs a new car I’d laugh about it.

But my pain is your gain.

I’ve spotted some valuable copywriting lessons from my car buying misadventures.  And I’m going to share them with you.

First off let’s deal with the untruths.

Almost every car I’ve been to see was descibed as ‘stunning’, ‘in fabulous condition’, or ‘perfect’.


For example, one stunning example was covered – inside and out – with knocks, scuffs and scratches.

Copy lesson 1: Never lie.  You will come unstuck.

And the moment you’re seen as not telling the truth your copy’s done for.

So don’t lie – ever.

Heated mirrors … sat nav … CD player … height adjustable driver’s seat … rear wiper … ESP + Traction control … immobiliser

You’ve probably seen these – and more – in loads of car ads yourself.

But did this ever occur to you?

They’re all features.  Not a benefit in sight.

Heated mirrors – feature.  No standing out in the freezing cold scraping your mirrors before you set off.  Now there’s the benefit.

You know I didn’t see 1 benefit mentioned in any of the ads I read.

Now you could argue these items are the specification – so it’s ok to list features.  And I’m not going to argue with you.

But it did make me wonder whether a benefit driven ad would do better …

What do you think?

Either way this brings us to Copy lesson 2: Benefits not features.

And all the better if you can get an emotional benefit in there.

If you’re struggling with benefits, jot down a list of the features.  Then ask yourself what’s the point of each feature and you should get your benefit.

For example:

Feature: Sat Nav.  What’s the point?  No map reading / arguments over directions with your partner.

Are you thinking both of these are obvious?  Good – you’ve jumped 2 copy hurdles already.

But you’d probably be surprised at how many people don’t follow these simple rules.

If you’d like me to write some copy for you then please get in touch.

You can email me, or call +44 (0)1442 221451

Of course I don’t just do copy.  So if you have any marketing you need help with please email, or call.