Before banks were synonymous with vampire squids

Here’s a lead generation ad, or a want ad if you will, from Merrill Lynch during their halcyon days in the early 1970s.

Before the era of the vampire squids and the CEOs who detonated century old companies with toxic derivatives, Merrill was a genteel place to work and boasted Ogilvy & Mather as its ad agency.

Imagine the psychographics of the candidates a company could recruit in 2016 using print advertising with a detailed questionnaire like this one.

Could you make the grade at Merrill Lynch?

A Tale Of Two Copywriters

One late summer evening, two copywriters sat down at their keyboards to craft sales letters for almost identical products.

They were very much alike, these two copywriters.

Both had years of experience writing every type of ad and were dynamos at selling to their core markets.

Both writers were also dedicated students of direct response marketing and were up on the latest trends and techniques for making their clients (and themselves) ever larger profits.

But while one writer spent an entire week on writing and edits, his leisure-loving colleague cranked his final draft out within hours of sitting down that first evening.

And here’s the capper. [Read more…]

Ads That Command: The Outrageous Challenge

Through the lens of 2016, this ad’s copy might not be up to snuff.

But it wasn’t scintillating ad copy that kept Robert Allen’s ads and spots going strong for decades.

Allen had countless competitors in the “nothing down” real estate market — a market that’s making a minor comeback after years of hibernation.

Late night TV junkies during the 1980s are sure to recall one or more of these pitchmen:

* The avuncular Carlton Sheets with his trustworthy Midwestern accent. (Now retired.)

* The rags-to-riches Vietnamese immigrant, Tom Vu, usually surrounded by bikini clad women. (Now a poker player.)

* And the gritty salesman to the masses, Dave Del Dotto. (Now a winemaker.)

But of all the “nothing down” and real estate investment marketers, Robert Allen is one of the last standing after 35 years at it.

Why so?

Chalk it up to… [Read more…]