From: ADS THAT SELL: How to Create Advertising That Gets Results

By Robert W. Bly

Asher-Gallant Press 1988

“The Arabs’ Loss is Your Gain”

Sometimes a mail order ad can be used to sell the inventory of a product previously considered a dud. That was the case with this unusual Arab clock. A company spokesman told me the story:

An Arab manufacturer had produced a thousand Arab clocks. The clocks, which retailed for $60 to $70, were not selling, and they were stuck with a warehouse full of dead inventory.We thought we could sell them mail order and purchased the 1,000 clocks for $10 apiece. We then sold them mail order for $29.95 apiece using the ad you see here.

The ad runs primarily in weekly and monthly Jewish papers such as the Jewish Press and the Jewish Observer. So far, the ad has sold 700 of the clocks. Morty Schiller, one of the nation’s top mail order copywriters, wrote the ad. Here are Morty’s powerful opening lines:

  • Amazing Clock Shows You Sunrise and Sunset Anywhere in the World!
  • A Saudi Arabian company commissioned a major international high-tech firm to manufacture a convenient “Prayer Times Clock.” But they overlooked one thing.
  • They produced a truly amazing product. This highly sophisticated piece of equipment is obviously the result of extensive research and development.
  • What they overlooked in all their research is the simple fact that Arabs don’t need a Prayer Times Clock. The ten million people who would have been the clock’s market live within earshot of a mosque with the muezzin calling from the minaret six times a day: Allahu Akbar!(Allah is great)....
  • This copy demonstrates an important advertising principle: nothing beats a true story when it comes to credibility. We believe the story because the story is real. The Arabs really did create a product they couldn’t sell. So it seems logical that the price is greatly reduced.
  • The rest of the copy goes on to demonstrate how Jews can use the clock in their own daily religious and personal activities. And it closes with a powerful reason to order right away:

    There’s one catch. Less than 1,000 of these clocks are actually available. They will never be manufactured again and they are not available anywhere else. So order right now.

    ©Robert W. Bly 1988


    © 2001-2008 Mordechai (Morty) Schiller

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