Open With Fire


So many times, business owners want to know the right combination of words or phrases that will generate a buying response and cause people to choose your business instead of one of your competitors.

Oh, if only advertising worked that way.

Tom Wanek, here, and you’re watching Wizard Marketing TV, where business owners learn persuasive tools and techniques to spark miraculous growth.

I can’t give you that sequence of words and phrases you’re searching for, my friend—a magic formula like this simply doesn’t exist. But I can tell you how to structure your ad with an impactful First Mental Image. Stay tuned.

Let’s kick things off in a big way today by talking about a major “no, no” when writing ad copy. It’s a common mistake that even seasoned copywriters make.

Never, ever begin your ad by naming your company. When you begin your ad by saying, “Fred Conner from Conner’s Plumbing,” you immediately telegraph to your audience that they’re about to hear an ad.

This is the weakest possible first mental image you can conjure in the audience’s mind.


Well, for one thing, your First Mental Image is equivalent to the headline of your ad. And the goal of your First Mental Image is to introduce a thought more interesting than what your listener had previously been thinking.

You want to keep your audience engaged, right?

That’s no small task. Your prospects jump from website to website … article to article … and channel to channel … all without a moment’s hesitation.

On top of that, no one likes being sold to. And when you begin your ad by naming your company … well, your relationship with your audience starts off with something unpleasant … something that produces resistance.

So, what do you do instead?

My man, David Ogilvy, once said, “When selling fire extinguishers, open with fire.”

In other words, open BIG! Open with a captivating thought—a First Mental Image—that speaks to the hopes, dreams and desires that fuel you customer’s decision to buy from you.

Trust me, your company name isn’t all that interesting. Sorry if that hurts a little.

Now, how bout an example of a captivating First Mental Image?

Take a look at this famous ad, written by my partner, Roy H. Williams: “You are standing in the snow, five and one half miles above sea level, gazing at a horizon hundreds of miles away. It occurs to you that life here is very simple: You live, or you die. No compromises, no whining, no second chances. This is a place constantly ravaged by wind and storm, where every ragged breath is an accomplishment. You stand on the uppermost pinnacle of the earth. This is the mountain they call Everest. Yesterday it was considered unbeatable. But that was yesterday. Rolex believed Sir Edmund Hillary would conquer Mount Everest, so for him they created the Rolex Explorer. In every life there is a Mount Everest to be conquered. When you have conquered yours, you’ll find your Rolex waiting patiently for you to come and pick it up at Justice Jewelers. I’m Woody Justice, and I’ve got a Rolex for you.”

Now that’s how you open big! Notice, too, how the ad puts the listener smack-dab in the middle of the action. Can you see—and more importantly—feel the difference?

So, if you wanna write electrifying ads that resonate with your audience and causes them to choose your business … then you’ve gotta open with a big First Mental Image.

Can you do that for me?

I know you can.

Now Marketing Wizards, did you like this video? Then do me a BIG favor … please subscribe and share it with peeps all across the YouTubes and the Interwebs.

And let me hear from you. Send in your marketing and advertising questions. Hit me up at, and I’ll give you an answer right here.

As always, we’re in this together. I’ve got your back. I’ll see you real soon.

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