The other day I was hanging out with my 14-month-old kid when the song “Silverado for Sale” came on the radio. (If you haven’t heard it, you can check it out on YouTube here.)
About halfway through the song, I realized that this is a masterclass in ad copywriting. Let’s break it down.
This song is about a guy who’s buying a classified ad in the newspaper to sell his old pickup truck (Chevy Silverado) so he can afford to buy his girlfriend a diamond ring for their engagement – this is quintessential country music right ‘der.
Now let’s skip to the ad (the chorus of the song):
This truck will get the prettiest girl in town
Sittin’ right beside you when you’re ridin’ around
Boom. Right out of the gate with the benefits of the truck. Your customer cares about the benefit they get from the truck. Notice that he doesn’t start with total mileage, MPG, horsepower, amenities, or anything else. He goes right for the main point “This truck will help you get the girl!”
As a former high school guy, I know that this is the right message for the audience.
The next line:
It’s got a pretty good radio
If you wanna get her dancin’ down an old dirt road
Now we list a feature (the radio). But again, we’re not talking about how much better the radio is than every other truck or how it gets Bluetooth, or whether it has a GPS. Instead, it’s about “here’s how the radio helps get you what you want” (again, the girl).
Spent a lot of Friday nights up under the stars
Get you where you need to go, and it’ll go too far
God knows all the stories it can tell
I got a Silverado for sale
Basically a testimonial, “Look kid, it got me the girl I’m getting ready to get engaged to, it’ll work for you too.”
This is such a killer start to an ad.
Let’s jump into the second verse because there’s some good stuff in here too:
Don’t you think there’s a wild-eyed teenage kid
Workin’ hard all summer, just like I did?
Saved up a couple thousand bucks
Got a girl that he’s dyin’ to go pick up
She’ll steal his heart on that old bench seat
He’ll wanna lay the world right there at her feet
I can see him smiling ear to ear, ha
And when he reads these words right here
This isn’t about the ad, but it is about the audience. He defines the target market for the truck: high school kids who want a truck and only have “a couple thousand bucks”.
It’s not for retirees. It’s not for long-haul, hot-shot truckers. It’s not for someone looking for a brand new $80K Chevy. It’s for a specific audience. And as the advertiser, he understands that audience.
So to recap:
- He focused on one main benefit (NOT ON THE FEATURES!)
- He understands his audience.
This ad is better written than probably 98% of ads I see on a regular basis.
Next time you sit down to write an ad, listen to this song once before you start. I guarantee you it’ll help you write a better ad.
Until Next Time,
Tyler @ Analytive