Here’s a cracking print ad from Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. I’d take my hat off to the copywriter, if I was wearing one.
Honesty is not only the best policy. It is rare enough nowadays to make you pleasantly conspicuous.
At a very short glance it seems to break all the rules. First off, it tells you that the product is bad for you. If you tell people that, surely they’re less likely to buy it. It’s a sizeable chunk of copy for a print ad as well, surely everyone’s too busy to read all that. If its on the web then definitely no one will bother reading it, after all Jakob Nielson rightly called internet users ‘lazy ruthless and selfish.’
However it doesn’t take long to realize that by beginning with the phrase ‘Doughnuts are bad for you’ – they’ve immediately turned a disadvantage into an advantage.
Stella Artois did the same with their slogan ‘Reassuringly Expensive.’
Charles H. Brower onetime chairman of advertising agency BBDO said;
"Honesty is not only the best policy. It is rare enough nowadays to make you pleasantly conspicuous."
That’s certainly applicable with this ad. Also, I think there’s something to be said these days for not treating your customers like they’re a cluster of numpties. Everybody knows that Krispy Kreme Doughnuts aren’t exactly super-foods. If they tried to conceal that, people would see through it in an instant.
And then there’s the issue of the length of the copy. Before I’d read anything on advertising I assumed that the mantra was always ‘shorter the better’.
Apparently not. A quick read of John Caples told me that longer copy performs better than short in most cases. The crucial point is that it must remain interesting and engaging throughout. That’s the copywriter’s challenge. Not (as I thought) condensing everything into as short a word count as possible.
Doughnuts are bad for you.
So are cream cakes, lie-ins and loud rock music. So is sugar. If you take it in your tea, stop immediately. If you take two sugars in your tea, obviously you’re trying to commit suicide and it’s a cry for help. Don’t do it. Your life is precious.
Not drinking enough water is bad for you. You must drink 6 ½ pints a day, or you’ll get dehydrated and that’s bad for you too. Don’t drink too much though, that can be really bad for you. If you drink over 14 pints at once it makes you feel drunk. So don’t drink too much water and drive.
T.V is bad for you. Watching too much can cost you your friends. None at all and you’ve got nothing to talk to them about. Lack of exercise is bad for you. But getting addicted to gyms is bad for you too. Also, some gym towels aren’t laundered properly and spread germs. Germs are bad for you.
Stress is bad for you. Well, at least too much stress is bad for you. Not enough and you don’t realise you’re alive which is bad for you too. The thing is, life and the living that is involved is bad for you. It must be, because it kills everyone in the end.
At Krispy Kreme, we think the key to life, by which we mean eating doughnuts, is balance. Sure, if you eat them morning, noon, and night and they are brought directly to your armchair, then that would be bad. But then if you’ve never felt the pleasure of eating a delicious fluffy original glazed doughnut hot off the line and, heaven forbid, you get struck by lightning, well surely that would be really bad. Really really bad.