The Soggy Bottom Twist

So, are you one of them devastated Bake-Off types?

Crying into your soufflé, because suddenly people will be making cakes on a different channel?

Or, are you in my camp – with no idea why any of this could ever matter? Like, ever?

There’s a big marketing point to this, but I’ve got to tell you first…

I’ve got my own idea for a reality TV show.

See, we’ve had endless searches for the best singer, baker, chef, choir, comic, pig farmer…the lot.
So how about “Britain’s Favourite Military Assault Unit”?

Think about it….

Squaddies giving us the back-story. “When me nan died, I thought right…them Syrian rebels are gonna get it!”

The public vote. Which campaign strategy gets the go-ahead?

The big reveal. Ant & Dec announce, “And the winner is…Carpet Bombing Over Damascus!”

As the confetti falls, and the winning General chokes back the tears.

Ratings assured.

(Or maybe, it just shows how we’ve trivialised everything? One or t’other…)

Anyway – that Bake-Off marketing thing?

Well, it’s like this…

There’s a shed load of important stuff going on in the world right now. Syria aside, there’s Brexit, an opposition party falling apart at the seams…hot debates over life chances and human rights…but what gets us talking?

A TV show about cakes.

Says it all, for me.

We (that’s humans) prefer to ignore what’s really important. And focus on the emotional fix.

The stuff we want. Not the stuff we need.

I realised this in my door-to-door sales days. Go into the average home, and you’ve got threadbare carpets, leaky taps, creaky floorboards…and a huge state-of-the-art telly.

Stuff the ‘need’. Let’s buy the ‘want’.

What does that mean to you? Well, two things:

1 – if you make a logical case for your product, you’re screwed. You can convince a zillion people that they need it. But you won’t make a single sale until they actually want it.

So your copy has to tap into their feelings…and just pay a little lip service to the facts.

And 2 – if you sell something that’s all need and no want…dull sensible stuff like insurance, root canals, loft insulation…you’ve got to turn away from need and create your own want. By finding the pressure point. The pain…the emotional turmoil…that comes from doing nothing.

Feelings first. Facts second.

Because nothing else works.


I mean look…I dare say you’ve heard this want-not-need thing before. But the same mistake keeps happening, so it has to be repeated.

Maybe you should create a photo collage, and stick it above your monitor? Mary Berry on one side, a refugee on the other. With the headline –

“The Trivial Emotional Fix Gets All The Attention”.

Just an idea.

But a good one. That will focus your copy in the right direction.

Call it The Soggy Bottom Twist, and take it to the bank…

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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