Think back to the last time you were genuinely inspired.
Maybe it was a song. Maybe it was a movie. Maybe it was a book, or a podcast, or an idea. Or maybe, it was a product.
Whatever it was, you were struck. Absolutely arrested.
What happened next?
In all likelihood, you took your passion — your beautiful, brimming, exuberant new thing — out from the shadows of your own heart and into the light of another person’s day.
Fully convinced of its self-evident glory, you held that it up. You presented it — “Behold!” — to a friend or a loved one. Or, to the world.
And … it fell flat.
Flat like a ten-year-old catapulting himself off a twenty-foot diving board to impress Ms. Shultz fourth-grade class, belly-flopping at 15 MPH. Flat like an ill-fated raccoon betrayed by its peripheral vision — and a convoy of Amazon Prime lorries hurling toward Christmas.
Flat like would-be pop star undone by reality TV.
Why? Because the truth is we all struggle to communicate our passion.
Nowhere is this struggle more painful than writing, where all our nonverbals — like eye contact, pacing, and body language — are gone.
Add to this trying to communicate passion for a particular product or service and the struggle only increases.
Technical term: accumulatio (ac cu mu LA ti o)
Gathering together — literally “piling up or heaping” — a series of scattered points, descriptions, or words of praise.
Richard Lanham: “He was a good dog, a loyal buddy, a smart hunter; proud, funny, tough; a brave soldier; though, at times, he begged at the dinner table.”
Your organization, your vigilance, your devotion to duty, your zeal for the cause must be raised to the highest intensity.” Winston Churchill
From a formulaic copywriting perspective, here’s a template you can easily make your own:
Technical term: hyperbole (he PER bo le)
Exaggerating or overstating something to the point of absurdity or excess.
His name was Skeel. And he was so strong everyone in the lumberyard called him ‘The Man of Skeel.’ He put the forktrucks on their shelves at night.” Richard Lanham
The exaggeration works best when you’re infusing humor into your copy.
Here’s a great example from DIRECTV:
And another classic from the climax of Old Spices’ series with Kevin Rose:
Lastly, a bit of poetry — for all you lovers out there — by W.H. Auden:
Technical term: adynata (a DY na ta)
A specific form of hyperbole that lists the impossibilities of a task and is often accompanied by the insinuation that “words are not enough.”
Not if I had all the time in the world and the best poets working at my side could I list all you mean to me.” Emily Dickenson
For copywriting with passion, the best place to use the impossibles is when you’re agitating fear.
You can read more about the “Fear. Agitation. Solution.” formula here. Pay special attention to the “It Gets Worse … Much, Much Worse” portion.
Technical term: anaphora (a NA pho ra)
The use of the same word or phrase at the beginning of multiple sentences.
There comes a time when people get tired of being pushed out of the glittering sunlight of life’s July, and left standing amidst the piercing chill of an Alpine November.” Martin Luther King
Technical term: antistrophe (an TI stro phe).
The use of the same word or phrase at the close of multiple sentences.
J. R. R. Tolkien:
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I understood like a child, I thought like a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” The Bible
Technical term: commoratio (com mo RA ti o)
Dwelling on a specific point, repeating it over and over but with different words.
E. B. White:
The lingering works powerfully when highlighting a specific feature of your product or service to draw out all its benefits.
Technical term: conduplicatio (con du pli CA ti o)
The use of the same word directly following different phrases.
Robert F. Kennedy
Technical term: extended analogy
A metaphor, simile, or brief story that is carried beyond a sentence or two.
The best rule to follow when using the extension for copywriting with passion is to pick a single running metaphor (sometimes called a “controlling” metaphor) to frame — or weave into — an entire piece.
For more help developing captivating metaphors when copywriting with passion, check out Henneke’s “How to Use the Persuasive Power of Metaphors.”
Technical term: occupatio (oc cu PA ti o)
Calling attention to something by first saying you’re not going to talk about it.
I will not dwell here on the twenty books and the thirty articles Professor X has written, nor his forty years as Dean, nor his many illustrious pupils, but only say that last year in Africa he killed ten men with his spear.” Richard Lanham
The negation is a compelling way to list the penultimate benefits of a product or service and then turn the focus onto the king benefit. Here’s an example of copywriting with passion using it:
Technical term: zeugma (ZEUG ma)
Using one word, most often a verb, as the key or hinge upon which multiple words or phrases turn.
We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” John F. Kennedy
Using the multiplier for copywriting with passion simplifies your sentence structure and leans on the power of verbs without repeating them.
Passionate copywriting doesn’t come naturally … to any of us.
Overcoming the struggle to spark emotion with your words starts with passion itself. But it doesn’t end there.
To truly create an emotional experience, arm yourself with the 10 amplification formulas above.
Play with them. Make them your own. See what works.
But above all, get started today.
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