Email Story: Betrayed by a Travel Brochure


Back in the day, when people used to go on vacation, my mom, dad, brother and I packed up the station wagon and drove west in search of a ghost town.

Actually, we were headed to some national parks in Wyoming and Montana. But I insisted we detour.

The brochure I grabbed at the Stuckey’s on I-80 said the ghost town was “can’t miss.”

I’ll spare you the details and tell you only this: The brochure lied.

Fast-forward 45 years: I was browsing my swipe file (my collection of great ads and copywriting) in search of some marketing inspiration for you.

I found an ad from Norwegian Cruise Lines with the following headline:

Finally, A Caribbean Cruise as Good as Its Brochure

That’s a great headline.

When I read it, the sad ghost town memories came pouring back: Reading the brochure. The anticipation. The disappointment. The sense of betrayal.

Raise your hand if you ever felt betrayed by a travel brochure that lied. The copywriter who penned the cruise line ad knows how you feel.

And that’s what makes the ad great.

That headline says, in effect, “I know you’ve felt betrayed by travel brochures that over-promise and under-deliver. You won’t feel that way with us.”

Two important marketing lessons here: 

1) Don’t break your marketing promises (I was 10 when the ghost town broke its promise; I haven’t forgotten). 

2) Your business story works best when it is not about the business. Great business stories are about prospects and customers — their aspirations, fears, frustrations and feelings.

Do you know how your prospects and customers feel — what they crave, what they fear, what inspires them, what bugs them?

We’ll help you figure that out. And then we can help you craft business stories that reflect their feelings…

…so they’ll tune in and act. 

Whenever you’re ready…here are a few ways we can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you’ll land more clients:

1) Follow Tom Ruwitch on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.

2) Attend our free training: “How to Harness the Magnetic Power of Storytelling…” Discover how to transform marketing from a confusing, resource-draining hassle into something that’s simple, fun AND productive. Details and registration here.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.

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