Copywriting Codex: Fictional Theater Agent Illustrates Huge Buying Trigger…

How’s it going? It’s a lot cooler today, and I’m glad for that.

Anyway, let’s get to it.

On Sunday, I watched quite a bit of an old(er) 1955 movie called The Tender Trap, with Frank Sinatra and Debbie Reynolds (who was about 23 at the time). It’s interesting because it’s about one of the greatest legitimate ways to get people to buy something you happen to be promoting.

The show’s about a married dude named Joe (played by a guy named David), who visits his friend Charlie in New York (the other dude, played by Frank Sinatra). Joe is super jealous of Charlie because in about the first five minutes of the show, three beautiful women come to his apartment. They’re talking about how much his apartment needs to be cleaned, kissing him, sweet-talking him, and everything else.

Anyway, Charlie is making good money as a theater agent signing people up for musicals and what-have-ya. Everything seems to come easy to him…everything.

Well, he and Joe are in the theater one day, and Debbie Reynolds’ character Julie is there, auditioning for a musical (I think). Under the guise of getting to know her professionally, (of course), Charlie asks Julie to dinner…

And she immediately says no.

Not kissing him, not fawning over him about how his apartment needs to be cleaned…just no.

And then the interesting stuff starts (not that it wasn’t to begin with). Charlie becomes fascinated by Julie, and keeps trying to get her to go out with him. Eventually things do happen, in a lopsided and hilarious way, but the point of this is…

We want what we can’t have.

Or what we don’t have, or something someone else has. If someone thinks they can’t have something, even though they know it exists, if it’s presented as desirable and beneficial, they’ll want it. And that something can even be access to another person.

It’s mostly perception that builds desire like this.

If we were to go into a store, and I pointed something out to you and said “XYZ is $300,” and I thought it was something you liked, wouldn’t questions start popping in your head? Things like:

Holy shmoly, it’s $300? Why the heck is it so much?

What makes it different?

Is it better quality than anything else?

Why do I have to examine it with a telescope from across the store?

When you started looking at it, to see why XYZ is so great, the benefits and features may build on from there. Maybe this was:

Made from high quality metal and yarn, processed with strict purity standards

Sewn by moonlighting shoemaker elves who’ve consulted for Vera Wang

Or something else…

We don’t need to be deceptive or anything to create desire. All we’ve gotta do is create the most favorable picture we can, and let the prospect’s mind and perception build their own reasons to buy from there.

Until next time,



About Ty Mall

Thanks for stopping by. I've almost always been interested in writing, among other things. Along with discovering pop culture, I've uncovered a lot about the craft over the past 10 years. And whether you're a fiction writer or email copywriter, I'm here to pass on what I've found out. And have a ton of fun in the process.
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