Hey guys,

Number 2 is back with a doozy of a post for you.

If you are easily offended by R rated content please stop reading this now.

Seriously.

The topic of our discussion comes from someone I consider one of the greatest living storytellers on the face of planet Earth.

Quentin Tarantino.

And one word comes to me when I think of his movies.  Raw.

So if explicit language gets your blood boiling, distracts you from learning and keeping yourself in a resourceful state of mind… skip today’s lesson.

This post is about presenting your product or service in a way that makes your ideal prospects lock eyes on you, listen with their ears perked up and then feel like they’re betraying themselves if they don’t take advantage of what you have to offer.

As much as the lazy part of my mind wanted to drag the tired ass Claude Hopkins Schlitz Beer example out to express this point I thought I’d spare you what several older copywriters haven’t.

For those who haven’t heard the story here it is microwaved.  Back in the early 1900’s Schlitz beer was getting it’s ass kicked in the beer market.  They sought out the advertising genius Claude Hopkins.  He requests a tour of the their beer brewing facilities and after seeing for himself the elaborate process they go through to get you drunk he finds what he needs.

He tells Schlitz that the angle he’s going to take is to let the world in all the gyrations they go through to make beer.  The owner of Schlitz tells him “Everyone does what we do.”  And good ole’ Claude tells em, “But no one talks about it.”

And when they started running beer ads that went into depth talking about “Why” Schlitz beer was good they went to number 1.  End of Story.  Jay Abraham tells this better than I just did but you got the point right?

I love me some Claude Hopkins just as much as the next guy but my mind whails “Again. You gotta be fuckin’ kidding me” when I hear someone roll this aged fable out on stage in it’s wooden wheelchair.

This is one thing I respected about Gary Bencivenga’s Seminar.  He went out like a champ.  He spoke about the core fundamentals of persuading in print and did it with his own fresh analogies.

This means he actually put some thought into his presentation instead of puking up examples talked about by everyone and their sister already.

Some people rationalize a good story is a good story and if it works don’t break it.  I have a different take.  And that is…  people are lazy.  Thinking isn’t easy.  Recycling is.  This is why people don’t look at the hundreds of other examples you could use to bring home your point.

Like I did today.

I plucked this nugget directly from the wild fired bosom of the Pulp Fiction screenplay.

Folks this is writing. Every day and every way I aspire to write copy this sprited.

Remember when I mentioned a few posts back the idea of re-writing the money-shot parts of ads and screen play dialogue to get an unfair advantage when writing?

If you ever write dialog in any of your copy get your ass some Tarantino screen plays.  Dialogue is this man’s gift from God.

As a favor to you I’ve attached a copy of Pulp Fiction for you here.  If you’ve seen the movie you’ll be transported back to this very scene saying the lines in the same cadence as Christopher Walken did.

So in the name of a fresh perspective… Here’s my take on what a Foul Mouthed Vietnam Vet Can Teach You About Presenting What You Sell Provocatively.

33.     FADE UP:

ON THE CARTOON “SPEED RACER.”

Speed is giving a detailed description of all the features on

his race car “The Mac-5,” which he does at the beginning of

every episode.

OFF SCREEN we hear a WOMAN’S VOICE….

WOMAN’S VOICE (OS)

Butch.

DISSOLVE TO:

BUTCH’S POV

We’re in the living room of a modest two bedroom house in

Alhambra, California, in the year 1972.

BUTCH’S MOTHER, 35ish, stands in the doorway leading into the

living room.  Next to her is a man dressed in the uniform of

an American Air Force officer.  The CAMERA is the perspective

of a five-year old boy.

MOTHER

Butch, stop watching TV a second.

We got a special visitor.  Now do

you remember when I told you your

daddy died in a P.O.W. camp?

BUTCH (OS)

Uh-huh.

MOTHER

Well this here is Capt. Koons.  He

was in the P.O.W. camp with Daddy.

CAPT. KOONS steps inside the room toward the little boy and

bends down on one knee to bring him even with the boy’s

eyeline.  When Koons speaks, he speaks with a slight Texas

accent.

CAPT. KOONS

Hello, little man.  Boy I sure

heard a bunch about you.  See, I

was a good friend of your Daddy’s.

We were in that Hanoi pit of hell

over five years together.

Hopefully, you’ll never have to

experience this yourself, but when

two men are in a situation like me

and your Daddy were, for as long as

we were, you take on certain

responsibilities of the other.  If

it had been me who had not made it,

Major Coolidge would be talkin’

right now to my son Jim.  But the

way it worked out is I’m talkin’ to

you, Butch.  I got somethin’ for

ya.

The Captain pulls a gold wrist watch out of his pocket.

CAPT. KOONS

This watch I got here was first

purchased by your great-granddaddy.

It was bought during the First

World War in a little general store

in Knoxville, Tennessee.  It was

bought by private Doughboy Ernie

Coolidge the day he set sail for

Paris.  It was your great-

granddaddy’s war watch, made by the

first company to ever make wrist

watches.  You see, up until then,

people just carried pocket watches.

Your great-granddaddy wore that

watch every day he was in the war.

Then when he had done his duty, he

went home to your great-

grandmother, took the watch off his

wrist and put it in an ol’ coffee

can.  And in that can it stayed

’til your grandfather Dane Coolidge

was called upon by his country to

go overseas and fight the Germans

once again.  This time they called

it World War Two.

Your great-granddaddy gave it to

your granddad for good luck.

Unfortunately, Dane’s luck wasn’t

as good as his old man’s.  Your

granddad was a Marine and he was

killed with all the other Marines

at the battle of Wake Island.  Your

granddad was facing death and he

knew it.  None of those boys had

any illusions about ever leavin’

that island alive.  So three days

before the Japanese took the

island, your 22-year old

grandfather asked a gunner on an

Air Force transport named Winocki,

a man he had never met before in

his life, to deliver to his infant

son, who he had never seen in the

flesh, his gold watch.  Three days

later, your grandfather was dead.

But Winocki kept his word.  After

the war was over, he paid a visit

to your grandmother, delivering to

your infant father, his Dad’s gold

watch.  This watch.  This watch was

on your Daddy’s wrist when he was

shot down over Hanoi.  He was

captured and put in a Vietnamese

prison camp.  Now he knew if the

gooks ever saw the watch it’s be

confiscated.  The way your Daddy

looked at it, that watch was your

birthright.  And he’d be damned if

any slopeheads were gonna put their

greasy yella hands on his boy’s

birthright.  So he hid it in the

one place he knew he could hide

somethin’.  His ass.  Five long

years, he wore this watch up his

ass.  Then before he died of

dysentery, he gave me the watch.  I

hid this uncomfortable hunk of

metal up my ass for two years.

Then, after seven years, I was sent

home to my family.  And now, little

man, I give the watch to you.

Capt. Koons hands the watch to Butch.  A little hand comes

into FRAME to accept it.

­­

Now that’s what I call a sales presentation.

If you haven’t seen the movie here’s why Tarantino felt this story was critical to the success of the movie. 

When you’re brought into the present day, Butch has grown up and become a prize fighter.  In his next bout he’s supposed to lose the match and has been paid thousands and thousands of dollars by a junkyard dog gangster to do so.

He didn’t.

Instead he had a buddy spread the money he was paid off with around town to several different bookies.  He bet on himself winning the fight.

Long story short, he wins the fight, jumps out of a 4th story window into a dumpster and hops into a waiting cab.  Down the road he has the cab pull over to a payphone so he can confirm with his friend that all the bets were placed.

After he’s told everything went off with a hitch he knows all that’s left to do now is get out of town on the train tomorrow.

Meanwhile the Junkyard Dog gangster has made a declaration… “I’m prepared to scour the earth for that mutha fucka.  If he goes to Endo China I want a nigga ready to hop out of bowl of rice and pop a cap in his ass.”

When Butch gets to the hotel room where his girlfriend is holed up, he makes love to her and knocks out.  In the morning as the two of them are getting ready to scat town and live the good life he starts looking for his father’s watch.  It’s not there.

He asks her where it is and she says she packed in the suitcase.  It’s not there.  When he doesn’t find it he goes absolutely ballistic with fear and rage.

After calming himself down he makes the decision to go back to the apartment where killers are staked out waiting for him to show up.

On his way there he says to himself…

BUTCH

Of all the fuckin’ things she

coulda forgot, she forgets my

father’s watch. I specifically

reminded her not to forget it.

“Bedside table — on the kangaroo.”

I said the words: “Don’t forget my

father’s watch.”

Had Tarantino not told the story of the gold watch in such a compelling way you wouldn’t feel empathy or at least get why he’d be willing to chance being murdered on sight.

This was no ordinary watch.  This was to be his son’s birthright.  This watch was to stay in the Coolidge family till the end of time.   His ancestors had gone through hell and back to make sure he got it and he was obligated to do the same.

Is what you sell valuable based on the story you tell about it?  How valuable?  Are you exploiting the story behind what you sell provocatively?

Don’t think too hard about the answers to these questions.  Just dream about ’em tonight as you sleep.  Then when we talk again, we’ll check out some examples of business people like you unveiling the hidden asset most people keep locked away in the basement of their mind.

Till Then I’m wishing you a speedy and spectacular success,

Note Taking Nerd #2

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