If you would like to know how watching a special kind of
movie can triple the response of your next sales
promotion, then you’re going to find this particular article very
Here’s why: One of the little-talked about tricks the late (and
brilliant) copywriter Eugene Schwartz taught was to watch
the movie Lethal Weapon two or three times in a
row…in one sitting.
Believe it or not, he considered this one of the best (if not
the best) training methods in the world…for anyone
who sells for a living. Especially copywriters.
Because — as Eugene Schwartz put it — there is a certain
“rhythm” in the way the scenes are laid out in Lethal
Weapon. From the opening frame…it starts you on a
very specific “process” that continues all the way to the
closing credits. A process that makes it hard to get
sidetracked during the movie.
For example — and I have recently done this myself, so I can
confirm Gene Schwartz was not making this up — if you take
a stopwatch with Lethal Weapon and note the time
between each action sequence, you will discover there’s
only about three minutes (give or take).
In other words…every three minutes the movie throws
another blast at you. Another person gets blown out of a
helicopter. Another corpse lands on someone’s windshield.
And so on.
Here’s the point: As crude and violent as all this is…it is
actually…from a strictly copywriting point of view…pure
Because this constant “3 minute shuffle” of all-out action,
violence and mayhem makes it all but impossible to get
It’s true. Even if you hate violent movies…even if you think
the story’s lame…even if you can’t stand co-star Danny
most people would have to admit the movie is anything but
What’s this got to do with your copy?
Everything…because this tightly woven “rhythm” of blasting,
shooting, killing and hard-core butt-kicking…is actually a
physical entity you can identify, copy and ultimately
use in your advertising…with astonishing
Gene Schwartz actually called it “brains smashing
against windows” copy. If you want to see examples of
this then simply go to http://hardtofindads.com (it’s free to register) to the section that says “34 Million
Did you do it? Okay good. Now, did you notice how most of
those ads contain this exact same “Lethal Weapon”
rhythm Gene Schwartz described?
How there’s some sort of fascinating claim, dramatic piece
of news, interesting fact, riveting story, etc…in just about
every single paragraph?
Pretty amazing, isn’t it?
And the good news is…if you copy this rhythm of
throwing some kind of “action sequence” at your reader —
that keeps yanking them back into your sales pitch
before they even have a chance to think about
“changing channels” on you — then your shot of making the
sale goes up at least 100%. Probably even more. Doing
so has skyrocketed response on my own
ads…and I can practically guarantee it will for yours, too.
by Ben Settle