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How Advertising Invented Orange Juice

copywriting blog

Traditionally, advertising agencies did one job and one job only, they sold advertising space in newspapers and magazines with the goal to keep a brand’s name before the public.

The idea, which still holds some truth today, was that the more the public saw your brand, the more likely they were to buy it.

Today, we call this brand awareness — it is the reason we see a McDonald’s billboard at every intersection in America.

Advertising Began to Transform from Just a Business to a Creative Art When Albert Lasker Stepped Into the Space

Back in the 1900’s a brilliant gentleman by the name of Albert Lasker had a realization that would change advertising forever — advertising isn’t about selling space, but rather selling what was inside the space, in other words, the advertising itself.

Long story short, after having this realization, Lasker started making a crazy amount of money because he focused his attention on writing damn good copy. He called this focus, Salesmanship in Print.

Not only was Lasker selling advertising space, but he was selling the advertising in the space.

Lasker’s ‘Salesmanship in Print’ Piqued with His Ad Campaign for Sunkist Oranges — “Drink an Orange”

In the early 1900’s, nobody drank orange juice, it just wasn’t a thing.

Recommending a cold glass of orange juice along with a plate of greasy eggs and bacon would have been like asking someone if they wanted a tablespoon of mustard in their coffee.

Drinking orange juice regularly was Albert Lasker’s idea.

One day, Lasker had caught wind that orange growers were chopping down trees left and right due to over-production.

People weren’t eating enough oranges and Sunkist was suffering heavy losses because of it.

The Big Question: How to heavily increase orange consumption?

The Answer: Make drinking orange juice a habit.

Lasker knew that one glass of orange juice required 2–3 oranges, so his firm designed and manufactured an orange juice extractor and sold it to the public for .10 cents along with a bundle of oranges.

The campaign? Drink an Orange.

How You Can Apply This Concept to Your Brand or Business

1. Habits are lucrative. Look for ways to create them. Just remember to create good habits… drinking orange juice is a good habit… smoking a pack a day… not so much.

2. Add products to the process. How can you add additional products to the products you are already selling? Ex: iPhone/iPhone Earbuds/charger.

3. Write good copy. Do you ever find yourself longing to read a poorly written book? Absolutely not. The same can be said for advertising consumption. A great billboard with witty, thought-provoking copy is something we as consumers can and will appreciate.

By Cole Schafer


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Cole Schafer