Marshall McLuhan Says That TV Killed Bob Kennedy (Gene Schwartz Newsletter Ad)

Just when you thought you’ve seen every Gene Schwartz print ad there is, another one creeps up from his seemingly endless oeuvre!

This one promotes the Marshall McLuhan Dew-Line Newsletter which looks like it had a modest run between 1968 and 1970.

Gene was probably a partner on this one and you’ll notice one of his easy to identify corporate name selections, Human Development Corporation, as well as the ubiquitous Schwartzian word, “instant,” in the copy: “INSTANT SEX.”

(Darn, I was too late to register the domain!) [Read more…]

20 Year Direct Mail Control: Burn Disease Out Of Your Body

How many direct mail packages in the alternative medicine market can boast two decades of mailing?

This one, written by Eugene Schwartz and first mailed in 1979, had more stamina than the Energizer Bunny.

It finally stopped mailing in the early 1990s, but not before it raked in untold millions.

The ad sold the book by Dr. Stephen T. Chang: The Book of Internal Exercises. [Read more…]

Gradualizing Your Advertising Claims Into Cash

Gradualization is one of the techniques of Breakthrough Copy, Gene Schwartz delves into in Breakthrough Advertising.

What’s gradualization?

Let’s take it straight from Gene Schwartz in his legendary book.

“Gradualization is the art of starting your ad with a statement that will be immediately and entirely accepted, and then building a subsequent chain of acceptances upon this first statement. The purpose of this chain of acceptances is to lead your reader to a goal conclusion, which he will then accept, but which he would not as readily or as thoroughly have accepted without the preliminary statements.”

It’s infeasible to recap such an important advertising concept in this short space, but that’s the gist of gradualization.

Analogously, here’s something to keep in mind.

Oftentimes, leading with your biggest, most powerful claim in your headline is not the way to go. As Schwartz mentions, it’s a paradox many ad writers refuse to accept.

But, just think of boxing.

An accomplished boxer may possess a powerful uppercut, but he’d be a fool to throw it at the start of a match.


Because it’s a lot more efficient to throw a few stiff jabs, get his opponent’s attention, and then get in the proper range to throw the uppercut.

[Read more…]