A swipable idea from that iffy Hoover ad

You’ve seen this ad before, right? The Hoover Christmas ad from the 1950s?

Let’s face it – this ad sucks (pun intended).

Whoever wrote it should be walked through the streets in a hessian sack, while a stern old nun walks behind clanging a bell and chanting “Shame!”

It’s that ‘orrible.

I mean…She’ll Be Happier With a Hoover…it begs the question:

“Happier”, as opposed to what?

A flaming bag of faeces? Toenail clippings? An old yoghurt that’s gone furry?

If so, yeah maybe the hoover wins. But even then, it’s a photo finish.


Look, I’m not trying to be some virtue-signally Mr Enlightened here. I’m not going all Guardian columnist, claiming straight men should pay more taxes and white people eating rice is a hate crime.

No-one calls me “woke”.

It’s just…well, you can’t shrug off this ad as a product of its time. Saying
“You have to remember, it’s from a less progressive age.”

That’s garbage. Even Genghis Khan would tell the ad guy, “Woah dude – WTF?”

Anyway – I mention it for one darn good reason:

Just between us, there is something good about it. And it’s something you can use…

Look again at the headline:

Christmas Morning, She’ll Be Happier With a Hoover.

It jumps ahead to a future event, and describes an outcome.

That’s a good ploy.

Set aside the fact it went so very wrong on this occasion – the idea is sound:

[On Occasion X, Enjoy Benefit Y]

Swipable for anyone, that.

Example: imagine you’re selling a car with all-new safety features. Let’s call it The Wombat, because car names are always that stupid. And you’re targeting the parents of 17-year-old boys.

Here’s your ad:

See what I mean?

[On Occasion X, Enjoy Benefit Y]

Add it to your copy arsenal.

And remember –

Even terrible ads are learning opportunities.

Because sometimes, bad execution masks a solid principle.

Meet the Author

James Daniel

You might not know who James is...but you've probably read his copy. Through high street clients like Hidden Hearing, or big gun marketers like Jonathan Jay and Chris Cardell. His words are out there, pulling in new business every month. What else? Well his books, Do You Talk Like That at Home? and Direct Mail 101 will help you squeeze out more sales. Oh yeah - and his next book Before You JFDI will help you plan your next campaign. Get on the list for a free advance copy here.

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