9-Point Copy Platform of Hal Stebbins

by buildingpharmabrands

Hal Stebbins, one of the great advertising copy writers of the twentieth century described the importance of advertising copy the best in his address entitled, Our Creative Challenge in a Changing World delivered at the World Conference of International Advertising Association in 1966. Here’s what he said:

Copy is strategy. Copy is Moral Suasion. Copy is what you do with what you have. Copy is making you want what I have more than the money it costs. Copy is taking an idea from the back of my head and putting it in the back of your head. It is more important to mint ideas than to coin words. Copy is putting words together after you have learned how people are put together.

He delivered another gem about copy writing in his address entitled, Words About Words, when he addressed the Advertising Association of the West in 1957. He Said:

An advertising man takes facts and translates them into ideas; translates these ideas into emotions; translates these emotions into people; translates these people into sales.

Hal Stebbins was the President of Hal Stebbins Inc, a Los Angles advertising agency and a contributing editor of the magazine, Printers’ Ink. In his famous book, Copy Capsules, published in 1957, Hal Stebbins outlined his nine-point copy platform. In fact, it is not just about some rules about creating a copy platform or a copy strategy but priceless guiding principles that are universal and eternal in their character. Here’s his sagacious advice in what and how a copy platform should be:

  1. Let us give advertising a chance to show what it can do on its own unfettered and unhampered by dogmatic Do’s and Don’ts.
  2. Let us cut out the tricks and stick to the truth – but make that truth exciting.
  3. Let us listen to the voice of experience – but listen also to the song in our hearts. For that is the melody that moves the merchandise.
  4. Let us dare to be different – and stand on our own two feet.
  5. Let us rely on our own imagination and invention – on our creative sources and resources.
  6. Let us bear in mind that we start writing copy when we quit copying.
  7. Let us stop insulting the intelligence of the public and in the process insulting our own.
  8. Let us put our thunder into what we say and not how we say it.
  9. In short: let us put some guts into our copy. Yes, and have the guts to fight for it.

Are you inspired by Hal Stebbins and his copy platform? Can you now think really hard and create a compelling copy that translates your product features into benefits and translate them into ideas that move the physicians to choose your products?