Honey Copy


Riffs on marketing, writing, creativity and life ––

How brands can use the marketing strategy "But wait there's more" to drive millions.


It’s late. You can’t sleep. After counting sheep for the last hour you decide to crawl out of bed and head to the living room where you click on the TV to find a fast-talking slightly creepy salesman promoting a set of kitchen knives.

The infomercial opens with the salesman holding one of them in front of the camera, giving you a close up of the craftsmanship that went into making such a lovely cutting utensil.

From there, he starts rapid-firing feature after feature at you, explaining why this particular set of kitchen knives is better than the vast majority of kitchen knives.

He then puts the knives to use. After easily slicing a tomato, he ups the ante by slicing into a watermelon, a pineapple and then finally a coconut.

When you think the show can’t get any better, he starts chopping up shit you’d never in your life need to chop up. A deck of playing cards? A phone book? A log? All obliterated in a single chop.

While you’re impressed, you’re not sold, and the salesman knows that so he says something that makes you want to throw your money at the television… “But wait, there’s more.”

With a shit eating grin, the kitchen knife salesman pulls out a second set of knives and says, “If you call within the next 10-minutes, we’ll throw in another set of knives for free.”

At this point, you’re practically breaking your screen as you’re speedily banging in the number on your smart phone.

“But wait, there’s more”.

You stop. You look up. The kitchen knife salesman’s shit-eating grin has now doubled in size.

He pulls out a monstrous butcher knife and then continues, “For the price of just one set of Swifty Cutters, we’re going to include another set of Swifty Cutters AND our limited-edition Bone Clever 9000.”

Your jaw drops. You dial in. You give them your credit card information and a couple weeks later you receive your knives in the mail.

When your spouse realizes you purchased 27 kitchen knives at 2 a.m., she naturally starts asking questions. It adds some turbulence to the relationship for a little while but that’s okay, you took advantage of the deal of a lifetime.

Does “But wait, there’s more” actually work in marketing?

We tend to make fun of infomercials (or at least I do) because they’re cheesy and at times just downright ridiculous. But, despite their silliness, they’re extraordinarily effective. In 2009, during what some might consider to be the golden age of infomercials, the U.S. Market for Infomercial products cashed in at $170 billion… that’s a lot of moolah.

Products like ShamWow!, Snuggie, ProActiv and the Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter have been leveraging informercials and the “But wait, there’s more” marketing strategy to drive hundreds of millions of dollars in sales.

So, the short answer to the above question is yes… “But wait, there’s more” does work.

However, we both know you aren’t reading this article for the short answer, you’re a smart savvy marketer interested in understanding the why and how behind this strategy, which we’ll discuss in the next section.

“But wait, there’s more”: a fool-proof marketing strategy that’s so much more than just a cheesy line.

One idea I hammer into my clients heads at Honey Copy is value, value, value. When customers give brands their hard-earned money, they expect to receive something just as valuable (if not more valuable) in return.

Where brands generally fuck up is not in the product they’re selling but rather how they are portraying the value of their product to their customers. That’s important, so really think about that last sentence before continuing on.

There is a reason Apple doesn’t just make commercials that say “Buy Apple”.

There is a reason BMW doesn’t just smack a “For Sale” sign on the windshield of their cars.

There is a reason Starbucks doesn’t just throw up a billboard that says “Hot coffee, next exit”.

Actually that last piece of copy wasn’t too shabby. Anyways, there is a reason even the world’s most iconic brands invest heavily in marketing and advertising.

They do it in part to get the word out but mostly because they know how important it is to the perceived value of their product.

The world’s most successful brands understand that customers buy value, not products. So, while these brands have some of the greatest products in the market, they spend crazy amounts of time and energy marketing the value of their products.

The old school infomercial marketers understood this concept to a “T”. In the opening narrative I described the cliche informercial.

Sure, I added in some humor and flair to keep you reading, but if you’ve ever seen an informercial it was pretty spot on.

I imagine when you read that narrative, you thought it was cheesy. But, I imagine there was also a part of you that thought, “Damn, this isn’t such a bad deal. Two sets of kitchen knives and a clever?”

While we don’t have to use “But wait, there’s more” in our marketing materials, we should always have the line in the back of our heads as we are building out the marketing for our products.

It forces us to ask arguably the single most important question marketers could ever ask… How can I add so much value to this product or service it’d be silly for the customer not to buy it?

So, long story short, it’s not as much about the line as it is about the philosophy or the mindset. For marketers it’s practicing being a fountain versus a drain. Pumping exorbitant amounts of value into your products through your marketing promotions. It’s giving your customers 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x the value they pay for.

Today, making a great product is no longer enough –– there has to be more.

By Cole Schafer.

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Cole Schafer