Apr 16, 2018

Casual Inception - Persuasion in Copy Writing

There is a scene in Nolan’s time bending thriller, Inception, where the characters explain why their particular method of persuasion was the most effective. When a person thinks they came up with the idea themselves, they are more likely to act upon it, and are harder to dissuade away from it. In the movie, they take this to a Sci-Fi end point of hijacking people’s dreams and planting the ‘seed’ of an idea there, however this seed can easily be planted through writing.

The seed of an idea is like kindling and firewood. We feed messages to a reader that creates the perfect environment for them to naturally come up with the spark. Igniting the kindling and creating an idea, that the reader themselves comes up holistically.

For example, say you are writing copy for an upscale restaurant with a beautiful view. The angle for this copy is that you are trying to convince couples to come to the restaurant enjoy the food and the view in celebration or just for a romantic date.

The goal is for the fully fueled idea fire in a reader’s mind to be something along the lines of, “I should take my Wife/Girlfriend here for a romantic dinner!” Now we have to think what is the likely thought process someone would go through before they come to this ideal conclusion? The easiest way to discover this is to think about what thoughts would contradict this idea from forming. If they thought that the restaurant wasn’t beautiful, they would likely not consider it for a special romantic dinner. Therefore, for him to have come up with the idea, he must have first thought that the restaurant was beautiful. This is a piece of information that is a seed for the idea, a piece of kindling for him to ignite personally.

Through this method we can come up with a range of other kindling.

1. The restaurant is a beautiful place

2. The restaurant has good food

3. The restaurant is an ideal place for a romantic dinner for 2

Now we simply arrange that kindling into copy.

‘Overlooking the shimmering waters of east bay, acclaimed chef Joseph Wong creates stunning french contemporary cuisine to delight the senses. La Cuisine is a modern castle of fine dining, with intimate tables to share beautiful memories”

Loaded with kindling, the reader can’t help but come up with the idea of bringing his Girlfriend/Wife to this restaurant after reading that copy. It sets up an ideal range of thoughts and circumstances inside his head, which this particular idea has a high chance of forming. Since we didn’t feed him that idea directly, he is also more likely to remember and act on it. Just like inception.

More articles and musings on writing, social media and marketing - www.linkedin.com/in/haroldmollison/

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