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No-Brainer Copywriting Technique

October 8th, 2009 by Bob Bly

Here’s a no-brainer copywriting technique that works like gangbusters:

If you want someone to read and pay attention to your copy, put that copy in LARGE BOLDFACE TYPE.

When a law required NYC fast food restaurants to post the calorie content of meals on signs in larger type, the number of customers aware of the calories in burgers and other fast food went from 16% to 54%.

But big bold graphics apparently do not increase persuasion: despite the increased awareness, the calorie consumption of customers at these fast food joints slightly increased.

To improve persuasion in copy, you need to change the words, not just the size of the words.


This entry was posted on Thursday, October 8th, 2009 at 7:53 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

27 responses about “No-Brainer Copywriting Technique”

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  3. Ray Massie said:

    Maybe people really like fatty burgers and grease dripping fries. Yelling at them about how bad it is (kind of like the smoking warnings on packs) has no effect

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  5. Lou Wasser said:


    A friend of mine and her husband are opening a restaurant in February centered around a very fatty type of food that everyone loves.

    I’ve used your blog post to try and persuade her that (1)People who love the food will flock to her restaurant and (2)Many who claim to be health food nuts will also flock to her restaurant. Inside every thin person is a fat person dying to escape.

    Dontcha’ just love the rationalizations chocolate addicts use about anti-oxidants? I’ll bet it was a very talented copywriter who first pushed that idea home.

  6. Kamil said:

    This is very very interesting. Also for me as a graphic designer that’s really good example to persuade the clients that CAPITALS in bold don’t mean “this is very important”.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  9. Terry Hall said:


    Perhaps this comes down to the old feature and benefit relationship: you can shout STOP in the middle of a sentence, but those four big characters alone can’t explain why it would be beneficial to do so.

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  12. Jon McDowell said:

    I’ve read so many articles, especially in yahoo health site, that discussed calorie contents of foods. We can’t hide the fact that many people are relying on these articles.

    As for the writing, words create great impact to readers compare to simple bold appearance of words.

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