Jordan Ogren

October 14, 2021

Why this 1980 ad will never be forgotten.

Mince ad.jpg

David Abbot created the above ad. It ran in 1980 (if you couldn’t tell).

What I love about this ad is how it would still kick ass today. (Most ads I see today are hideous)

Sadly, we love to believe that yesterday is vastly different from today. It’s not. At least in the human realm.

We now have technology, AI, and cryptocurrency. 

But humans haven’t changed.

And that’s why I believe studying marketing greats (history) is a fundamental step toward producing great marketing yourself. So, are you ready to do some studying?

In this ad, the first thing to note is how the title addresses an objection while positioning it as an immense advantage.

“…if we don’t sell our mince in a day, we don’t sell it.”

Back then, people may have been worried about the freshness of their meat. This instantly puts them at ease. It also positions them well without the need to state it: At Sainsbury, we believe in only giving you the freshest meat.

Strong headline/title ✅

The next thing you should notice is the killer first sentence and how it weeds out non-ICP (ideal customers).

“The best mince is fresh mince.” 

If you don’t believe this (“a few days old mince ain’t too bad”), then you probably aren’t whom Sainsbury is targeting. It also reduces the friction to get to the second sentence; It’s easy to read.

Strong headline/title ✅
Strong hook/first sentence ✅

The final thing I want to note is how well it builds toward the climactic moment for the hero (the customer). 

Sainsbury states that their meat has a sell date of just one day.

“So all of our ground beef and mince beef has a sell-by date of just one day.”

Then they get specific about changing old meat out for new meat each day.

“What we don’t sell in a day comes out of the cabinet as a fresh supply goes in.”

This may have created an objection or question for you: What happens to all that “expired” meat?

Instead of letting this ugly white elephant remain in the room, Abbot addresses it beautifully (making a weakness an advantage).

“Does this mean we waste a lot of mince? On the contrary. It seems when people know you sell good lean mince at good keen prices, they can’t wait to buy it.”

Too many marketers are strapped with fear; They avoid strong statements—like the one above—and stick with generalities.

Simply put, they don’t have the balls that Abbot had. (Sorry to all my female readers, it’s a figure of speech/habit that I can’t kick).

And to put the bow on top, Abbot creates a gentle sense of urgency.

“Not even for a day.”

As a reader, these people, whom you want to be, can’t even wait a day before coming back. So why should you?

Marketing Insights ⚔️
  • Address objections upfront in your copy (kick that white elephant out of the room)
  • A short and punchy first sentence never fails to hook the reader
  • Write simply so people can simply understand what you are offering

How can you go back to the basics—with your writing—and infuse it with clarity and energy?

My answer is to unlearn and re-learn many things.

What’s yours? 

🧠 + ❤️ // JO