Unethical persuasion secrets from The Boys
The Boys on Amazon Prime is one of my favorite shows.
The show has great characters to the point where you feel bad for sociopaths. It has even better writing — full of twist and turns, subverting expectations, and keeping you “leaning in” until the show’s over. And it comes equipped with the most potent copywriting lesson I could ever give you.
If you’re unfamiliar, The Boys is a show about superpowered humans. Except they ain’t like the Marvel superheroes. They’re, well, far more evil.
They don’t care about anyone, especially the people they’re supposed to save. They work for Big Pharma. And they backstab each other every chance they get.
But as my chick and I wrapped up season 3, I realized another “hidden” reason why I like The Boys so much:
In The Boys, everyone’s the hero of their own story.
The most evil “supes” (as the show calls them) have a reason for acting like they do. It doesn’t make their evil actions any less, well, evil. But it makes you understand why they act like they do.
The most vanilla good guys also have a reason for acting like they do. Whenever you try to beat evil with evil, it just makes more evil erupt into the world — a common trope in this show.
That said, everyone in The Boys—from the most evil supes to the most vanilla “good guys”—thinks of themselves as the hero of their own story.
Which brings me to the rub:
Everyone thinks of themselves as the hero of their own story.
Your next door neighbors? They don’t care about you. They care about being the hero of their own story.
A person on your email list? They don’t care about you. They care about being the hero of their own story.
You can even extrapolate this to some of the evil lizard people around us. They don’t care about you. They care about being the hero of their own story in their own demented heads.
So how is this a copywriting lesson, you ask?
Because your goal as a copywriter is to be the guide to your customers’ hero’s journeys.
Everyone’s playing out their own hero’s journey in their heads. That’s why copy falls flat, especially from “greener” copywriters. Or business owners who try to write copy and fail.
They talk about themselves too much. About their product and the features of said product. Instead of talking about the reader, and how their life can change as a result of using said product (which is done by talking about benefits, not features).
In other words…
They try to “pigeonhole” their customers into their hero’s journey. Instead of guiding their customers through their own hero’s journey.
The former? Not persuasive at all (especially if you think it is).
That’s the unethical persuasion lesson you’ll learn from watching The Boys.
I could keep expanding on this topic, but I won’t.
I just want you to start thinking about being the guide to your customers’ hero’s journey more than you are now.
And if’n you need help doing this with email… and wanna watch the number in your bank account tick up and up and up…
Book a discovery call here, and let’s chat.