One of my latest fascinations has been a YouTube channel called Vsauce. And while Michael’s (the main dude behind Vsauce) videos are heavy on science and different thought experiments, yours truly has pulled many-a copywriting lesson from the channel.
Case in point:
YouTube recently recommended a Vsauce video that I had to watch. Why? Because of the title, which was:
“What Does Human Taste Like?”
Talk about demanding attention and forcing helpless victims to click on it!
In the video, Michael makes the case that you already “taste” human every time you swallow. He gives insight into taste itself—explaining the common phenomenon of why orange juice and toothpaste don’t jive together. And, in case you’re thinking the title’s no more than clickbait, he also shared several reports and taste profiles of human flesh. Turns out, it tastes most like veal.
Now, I ain’t no cannibal, but hear me out…
Maybe… human… tastes… go… ah, never mind.
Micahel’s “super power” isn’t in his ability to take one topic and expand it into a million loosely related topics.
Or his pure science know-how.
And it’s not even his quirky inflections which keep you hooked throughout the duration of the video.
(Though, each of these are powerful when applied to copy.)
His super power?
Giving his viewers an opportunity to think differently.
This is also a super power when it comes to writing persuasive copy.
For example, before watching the 9-minute video, I had never once considered that every 3 months, I swallow—and digest—my own body weight. You do too. We’re all self-cannibalizing all the time.
And every Vsacue video I’ve watched, even though science is far from my favorite subject, has given me an opportunity to think differently.
But how does giving your audience an opportunity to think differently help you write better copy?
Well, first and foremost, it turns skeptical Steves into diehard Dannys who would go to war for you, given you choose to lead them.
Second, it makes you seem more persuasive—because giving someone an opportunity to think differently is peak anti-needy behavior.
And third, if after giving someone an option for thinking differently, they decide to try your product or service, they will get more perceived value from it than if you hadn’t given them that option for thinking differently.
It’s like the placebo effect in action, and while the placebo effect gets a bad rap, it’s one of the most fascinating quirks of the human psyche because it just flat-out works.
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