Sometimes copywriters can inflate their worth… This is especially true with online copywriting gurus and those pumping courses who say remarkably stooopid things like copywriting is the single best skill to have in the world.
Is copywriting a good skill to know how to do? Of course, in fact, when viewed as a multiplier as sales, it’s a great skill to have.
But copy ain’t the end all be all.
Even the best copywriters in the world would struggle buying Twitter (er, I mean X), or a professional sports team.
After all, copy is only 20% of the battle when it comes to making sales… The other 80% is divided evenly by the offer and the list.
That said, today I want to share one of the wickedest, and most wildly successful marketing campaigns in the short-ish history of the United States.
I stumbled upon this great (yet evil) feat when I first started my business, and my client avatar looked much different than it does now. Though, I’ve always been at least mildly suspicious of it before I did the research.
What am I talking about?
Well, let’s rewind the clocks to before I was born and talk about what happened in the 1980s:
Thanks to several nefarious actors hidden deep inside the government, the U.S. nutritional guidelines fell victim to a few with a vendetta against fat—the ultra important macronutrient.
The initial research that fat made you, well, fat makes sense from a language standpoint—I mean, “fat” and “fat” are the same word (even if the definitions of the two fats couldn’t be further apart)—but that’s it. There was actually no scientific evidence that the macronutrient fat made you fat. But the person responsible for making the nutritional guidelines was determined: Out of the 100 or so scientists she asked for proof that fat does in fact make you fat proved it didn’t. Lucky for her, out of those 100 or so scientists, one was just as kooky as her, and fiddled with the data to make it suggest that fat was bad for you.
And there started the low-fat craze.
Even though 99% of scientists didn’t agree, the government didn’t care. Soon, we were told we should eat more bread than fat—an egregious error and mishap.
Next followed an incredible rallying cry where low-fat became the dominant and overarching ideology. Physicians, the federal government, the food industry, and leading voices in health media promoted it. And every American took this lie hook, line, and sinker.
(Talk about social proof…)
Before anyone knew it, grocery stores filled their shelves with low-fat products—making Americans believe that something “low-fat” wouldn’t make them fat.
All these low-fat products pumped in chemical cocktails and carbs and sugar to remove that fat from their products. Chemicals, which were hundreds of times worse for you than the fat removed.
And many believe today that this is why America has such a big obesity and diabetes problem. Other eras, yes, even those leading up to the 1980s, weren’t a fraction as fat and unhealthy as we are today.
And you know what?
Even though we’ve proved that fat is good for you—and at least in the top 2 of the 3 macronutrients—many people still falsely believe that fat makes you fat.
I mean, it’s even hard to find a full-fat greek yogurt when Peanut and I go grocery shopping. That’s how deep-seated this propaganda is.
Moral of the story?
Well, there’s a bunch of marketing lessons in this short history story. But none as powerful as this:
Marketing campaigns can have a raw, unmitigated power. And it’s up to you to use this power for good.
One way you can use this power for good instead of evil is by hitting reply. If we’re a good fit to partner together, then, well, we’ll try to do as much good as humanly possible when it comes to marketing and selling your products and services.