Stupid Ad – Smart Ad

Tuesday, 4:33 PM

Dear Friend,

Today I’m introducing a new little segment I’m calling “Stupid Ad – Smart Ad”.

(If this gets popular… I’ll have a never-ending supply of stupid ads to choose from.)

I got both these ads out of a recent issue of Muscular Development, one of the largest magazines in the bodybuilding niche.

When I say “largest”, I mean it. This magazine has about 400 pages in every issue. And I think about 75% of them are advertising.

It is REALLY tough to stand out in this magazine and get your ad noticed. Practically impossible… unless you have the advertising budget to run two to six-page spreads like the big boys.

I’ve successfully competed in this magazine for years with a minuscule ad budget (compared to the big boys)… but I’m going to keep that secret to myself for a while.

Ain’t I a stinker? :)

Anyhoo… the stupid ad is what they used to call a “double truck”… a two-page spread.

As far as “stupid” goes, this ranks up there as one of the stupidest I’ve ever seen in this niche… or almost any niche for that matter.

Here’s a thumbnail of Stupid Ad page 1.
(You can see the full size by clicking on it.)

And here’s a thumbnail of Stupid Ad page 2:

The reason it doesn’t win the “Stupidest Ad of All Time” award is because they DO have some kind of response device. They’ve done their best to hide it at the bottom and make it really hard to read… but at least it’s there.

They wasted two full pages with absolutely ZERO information about their product… with nothing but a pathetically weak, almost hidden call to action. (If you can call a teensy-tiny website address buried at the bottom of the page a “call to action”!)

Now this is a big company that’s been around a couple decades and is doing OK… in spite of themselves.

The smartest thing they could do right now is hire me.

If I could spend a few days with their marketing department…

I could almost IMMEDIATELY add several million
to their bottom line… without even breaking a sweat!

They’re screwing up BIG time with almost EVERYTHING they’re doing.

But there is ONE thing they’re doing right.

And this one thing allows them to continuously screw up… and still do OK.

And it’s something YOU could do to make a boatload of fungolas, too.

But I’ll share that in just a minute.

For now, let’s move on to our “Smart Ad”.

It’s also a double truck but with a much smarter and efficient use of those two pages.

Smart ad page 1:

Smart ad page 2:

I happen to know the owner of this company. He’s a student of the classic direct response masters.

He has studied Caples, Robert Collier, Kennedy, Lasker, Ogilvy, Halbert, Karbo and a bunch of the old time mail order guys.

He invested his time learning the timeless principles of selling and direct response marketing… and ignored all the goofball flunkies selling Internet Marketing “bright shiny object” products… who are completely clueless about the timeless principles of direct response selling.

This guy is doing a LOT of things right.

The copy helps sets him apart from all the hundreds of other advertisers in the magazine… and that is NOT an easy task!

Actually, I’m kinda surprised the magazine even allowed him to run this. Read the copy on the second page and you’ll see what I mean.

This guy has B-A-L-L-S!

And for that, I have R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

He’s making a very common mistake that is probably costing him a lot of money… but compared to most of the other advertisers in the magazine, this guy gets a Doberman Dan “gold star”.

Wanna know how the stupid advertiser can continue to make money with crappy ads?

It’s simple…

He Owns The Media!

Universal, the company that makes the Animal Pak… the product featured in the almost hidden teensy-tiny print at the bottom of the stupid ad… owns Muscular Development.

They can advertise for free!

Now here’s an advanced math question for you:

If your ad costs are ZERO… how many sales do you need to break even or make money on your ad?

And if other people pay you to put ads in your magazine, how much out-of-pocket have you invested to create the magazine and distribute it to the world?

Nothing… nada… zero… ZIP!

Not a bad deal, huh?

It’s good to be the king of your own media. It puts you in the “tollbooth position”… and everybody who wants to pass through your tollbooth has to pay you.

AND… you also get to promote your own products.

How can you own your own media?

Here are a few ideas for you:

  • Build your own e-mail list of subscribers or “raving fans”…


  • Start your own blog…


  • Publish your own OFFLINE newsletter and build a snail mail list of subscribers and raving fans. (This is at least 10 times more valuable than an e-mail list… in terms of prospect quality, lifetime customer value and resale value of your business.)


  • Start a membership website…


  • Start your own magazine (Sure, it’s pretty cost prohibitive but I have friends who have done it and enjoy international fame and recognition. That’s pretty cool, huh?)

That’s just a few ideas.

In my most humble (but accurate) opinion, just because you own the media doesn’t mean you should slack off and run crappy ads.

Back when it was still owned by Bill and Shawn Phillips, EAS not only owned their own media… but they had completely “kick boo-tay” ads, too.

They were a great example of how to maximize profitability by owning your own media, providing highly valuable cutting-edge content… AND running killer direct response ads for their own products written by some of the best copywriters in the world.

Last I checked it worked out pretty well for those guys.

Hey, I gotta run.

I hope you enjoyed this. If so, it would be kinda fun to make this “Stupid Ad – Smart Ad” a regular series.

Let me know in the comments box if you think that’s a good idea.

All the best,