We all have our guilty pleasures, mine is trashy US television.
I can’t help it, I love Storage Hunters and American Pickers.
I’m also pretty partial to Ramsay’s US Kitchen Nightmares.
Yeah, I know they’re trashy. Yeah, I know they’re setup. But…
…they’re just great fun to watch.
I challenge anybody to not enjoy them!
Holly claims not to like them, but I’ve seen her watching them occasionally 😀
As a side-benefit, they’re a great lesson in marketing.
Watch them closely and you’ll see that they all follow the same structure, and it’s to do with open loops.
Let’s take American Pickers as an example. As it happens, there’s an episode on as I write this 😉
We’ve got the two guys picking, they’re driving somewhere to follow up on a lead they’ve got. On the way they’re talking about what they may find and what they’re hoping to find.
Meanwhile… back at the shop, they have someone looking for new leads which she’ll phone through to them.
That gives us two loops.
With the editing of the show, they flip between the two loops, keeping the suspense open.
When the guys arrive at the site they’re picking, there’s always a challenge of some sort. Will the people want to sell, are they difficult etc. This opens yet another loop with the question of “Can we buy anything we want?“.
This makes three open loops happening at the same time.
The first of these then gets closed off when they finish purchasing from the people they’re picking from.
But, this gets opened again instantly because they ask the people they’re picking from for a contact they could go to next.
By the end of the epsiode all these loops are closed off and you get a sense of satisfaction.
That’s a simple three-loop story where all get closed before the end.
And EVERY episode is exactly the same.
It’s not complex, like a lot of drama series, but it doesn’t need to be. There’s just enough loops and curiosity to keep you interested for the length of the programme, whilst keeping it as cheap as possible to create.
Which is exactly what you want in your copywriting.
You want just enough to keep your audience reading, but not so much that it’s going to cost you a fortune to have it written.
Get that balance right, and you’ll be on to a winner.
All the best,