Last week I posted a newsletter on this
website which I titled simply "Water". That newsletter
consisted almost entirely of an ad I wrote several years
The newsletter described how a genius named
Carl Palmer had made himself wealthy several times and how
he was prone to chronic boredom unless he was working on an
exciting project. The ad also told about his creation of a
marvelous new product which could save millions of lives and
was needed by virtually every human being on this planet.
In that newsletter, I told my readers the ad
had ran twice as a full-page in Investors' Business Daily.
Then I asked my readers to email me their
comments about the ad and how well they thought the ad did.
I have never before had such a high
percentage of my readers make such idiotic guesses
about how well they thought an ad performed. The people who
made truly insane guesses were those who worked in
financial services... and sadly... those people who
identified themselves as copywriters and/or direct response
The more analytical the response, the
further it was from the truth of how the ad performed and
However, all is not lost. A handful of my
most astute readers (just a tiny handful) got it
Listen up: The ad is very confusing and
deceiving to people with a first-rate marketing mind. You
pretty much have to have a world-class marketing mind
to understand the genius of that ad.
First, I will tell you how well the ad
worked. It attracted an enormous number of qualified
investors who, by my estimate, were willing to pony up in
the neighborhood of $400,000,000 to participate in this
That ad is so Machiavellian, I believe not even 1 out of 1,000 readers will
be able to understand its almost unbelievable power. This
would truly be a candidate for the most powerful space ad
And sadly, I suspect none of you... even
after you read that ad ten times... will ever have a clue of
WHY it's so powerful.
Not only that, there is a "back story"
concerning the ad. It involves very curious twists and
turns... and... some of the most bizarre, slickest,
intelligent and corrupt people in the annals of American business.
I bet you would like me to lead you by the
hand exactly through every step of the ad and explain what I
was doing as I wrote every sentence. I bet you would also
love to read the "rest of the story" about that ad.
I've been thinking about revealing all this
for almost eight years. I still am not 100% certain I want
to tell you all the secrets about the ad and the back story
that goes with it.
But I've made myself a deal.
Now all of you know the answer as to how
well the ad performed. None of you now have any excuse for
emailing me and pontificating idiotic reasons why the ad did
Here's what I want you to do: I want you to email me
immediately with your best guess as to WHY the ad did work... and...
performed so outstandingly it
was almost unbelievable.
If enough of my readers (and by "enough" I
mean almost ALL of them) email me their guesses about why
this ad worked so well... I will write another newsletter
this week and give you ALL of the answers in minute detail.
But let me tell you something you better believe. This is
me, Gary Halbert writing, and I'm not fooling around. If I
don't get an ENORMOUS amount of emails from my readers
guessing why the ad worked so well... and... if I don't get
those email responses almost immediately, I'm not going to
tell you the answers! I will take the secrets to my grave
and all of you can go piss up a rope making absurd guesses
about the ad for the rest of your pathetic lives.
Look, I don't mind you are all shitweasels.
In fact, as the Alpha Shitweasel, I'm rather proud of that.
However, I have no patience whatsoever with LAZY-MINDED
shitweasels. So, if you are too mentally lethargic to make
an immediate guess as to why the ad worked... don't send me
an email. If there are enough of you who don't email me...
none of you will ever know.
You know why from time to time I write a
"kick-the-anthill" newsletter like this?
I do it for the same reason a dog licks his
balls. It's because I can.
Gary C. Halbert
"Supreme Master of Politically Correct Communications"