Attention Deficit vs. Long Copy

Ian Lurie

attention deficit
Seth Godin has this post: Assuming that you have your audience’s full attention is dangerous.

On the other hand, David Ogilvy said in Ogilvy on Advertising that long ad copy and more detail always wins.

How do you reconcile the two in internet marketing? By approaching your ad strategy as the first three steps in a six step conversation: Make sure you get in front of the user when they’re interested, by using smart advertising strategies and, most important, smart search marketing. Use the right initial look and headline to grab attention. Then use longer, detailed copy to draw in the audience.

Claude Hopkins, the man who basically invented modern advertising, told his students to use samples, such as a free can of coffee. Why? So that you’d get the audience’s attention, get them to try the product, and open the discussion.

He wrote that in the 1920s.

So I don’t think this is a new problem…

Ian Lurie
CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at

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