Words that sell

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Madison Ave. knows all the keywords to get consumers to buy their products and services. There are hundreds, even thousands of them, and they’re good words to know. If your writing doesn’t compel your readers to act—to fill out that web form, to place that call for more information or to make that purchase—then it’s not very effective, is it?

With that in mind, Madison Avenue is never going to sell men very much body wash.

Oh, they try. They hire some star NFL player with a two days’ growth on his chin to hawk their liquid soap in a fancy bottle. They show the guy doing sweaty, manly things like stalking mastodons or tossing boulders around, and then he gets in the shower.

And then they mention “moisturizers” or “healthy skin.” Or the word “smooth” not applied to bourbon. And they show his wife flashing him suggestive eyes over his newly-acquired rosebud scent.

I don’t think the writers of these commercials have studied the words that sell men’s body wash. You see, men don’t care about any of these things (she says with tongue firmly planted in cheek). My experience tells me that men just don’t want to stink. They aren’t too concerned about things like “moisturizers” or dry skin.

Case in point: this Gillette body wash commercial.

Alright, you say—what words do sell to men?

Manly words, obviously. First of all, don’t call it “body wash.” Call it “man soap.” And put it in a plastic bottle shaped just like a quart of motor oil. You can even include that annoying foil cover under the cap like a real quart of oil would have.

Don’t mention moisturizers or smoothness or anything else. Work up a tag line that says something like, “When you’re covered in crud after a long day of field-dressing elk and can’t stand to be in the same room with your own funk, use this man soap and forget about it. It will get you presentable in a hurry so you can catch the second half of the game, and your wife won’t make you get off the good furniture.”

This spot from Dial is more on the money:

“Protection from manstink”—that’s what I’m talking about.

The Trade Press Services’ team of writers knows “exclusive,” “new,” “savings,” “bargain,” and lots of other words that sell to your audience, too. We can’t promise you a 30-second TV spot, but we’ll get your company in print in the top trade publications in your industry, and make sure your article is worded to sell. For more information, call me at (805) 496-8850 or e-mail gerri@tradepressservices.com.

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