HIGH-5 ETERNAL TRUTH OF ALL SUCCESSFUL ADVERTISING #3. ©
If your story doesn’t look, feel, sound or smell like the truth, it ain’t got VERISIMILITUDE. *
Assume you’re selling a weight loss regime with pills, dieting, exercise, DVDs and the whole bit. And let’s say that a person could in fact really do 15 full military push-ups after the first week. Does it sound true? Would most people believe that? Does it have the appearance of truth? Does it have verisimilitude?
Nope. It sounds like sales hype even if “documented” and absolutely true. In another word, this story lacks VERISIMILITUDE—the appearance of truth. A sales story has to be absolutely, positively believable to most people because (remember Ms. Bee Cause?) if there’s any doubt, they’ll throw you out and your story out.
Now, in the sales story above, even assuming that the 15 push-outs is true, wouldn’t it have much more believability or verisimilitude if you had said 5 push-ups after the 2nd week? Wouldn’t most people think that just might be doable? In a sense it doesn’t matter what the truth really is, because if it doesn’t sound right, smell right, look right and feel right, most people just won’t buy into it and they won’t buy what you’re trying to sell them.
There’s another aspect to this business of believable promises. In “Hi-5 Eternal Truth #1” we asked, “To whom are you selling what ultimate benefit that will improve their business or lifestyle?” Remember? I wish I could claim this one, but a famous ad man said “Making a believable promise [of a benefit] to the right audience is the heart and soul of advertising.”
If you want to at get people to read your sales story, make sure it has verisimilitude.
* credibility, the appearance of being true or real.