W-A-Y West of Jewfish Creek
Dear Friend &
Can you believe it?
Not only am I caught up, I am actually sitting
here in Room 436 of the Doubletree Inn starting to write
this... my JULY newsletter... two days before
the end of June!
I was invited to come out here to Las Vegas by
Joe Polish to participate in the brainstorming session of a
very small group of people. They offered to pay my expenses
and a few thousand fungolas for my participation. I said "yes"
to the expenses and "no"
to the few thousand bucks they offered as an honorarium. I
said to Joe, "Look,
tell everyone in the session I don't want to be paid in
advance. Tell them they can pay me after the two-day
session is over... and then... they can cut me a check for
whatever they feel my attendance was worth. In other words, if
they so choose, they could end up paying me nothing."
Got Paid Almost Five Times
As Much As They Originally Offered...
Plus... I Formed A Few Business Alliances
I Believe Will Be Enormously Profitable!
Why did this happen? Because I'm good. I'm damn good! When it comes to direct marketing, there's nobody else in
the world as valuable as me sitting in a room with you.
Remember in my last issue I told you I was flying up to New
Jersey to work with Nate Aventino and the folks at Nutramerica?
Well, when I started talking with them, they were hardly
paying attention. But, before I was finished, they were
literally tape recording every word I said (even while driving
me to the airport) and actually raising their hands to ask my
permission to go to the bathroom. A few days after I got back
to Florida, Nate told me they were following... every
single one... of my suggestions... plus... they fired six
of their "dead-weight" employees!
It made me feel good.
Gosh, now doesn't that warm the cockles (what
are "cockles"?) of your heart?
Anyway, last month I gave you a free copy of
my $97.00 report called Gary Halbert's Report On How To Slow Down, Stop And Even Reverse The
Aging Process And Regain And Increase All The Youthful Energy,
Vitality And Sexual Passion You Once Enjoyed! Many of
you, if you happen to be anywhere close to my age (or, even
for those of you who are much younger) will find the
info in that report absolutely priceless on a personal
basis. All of you received a real-life example of how to
produce a product at a ridiculously low price (except for your
"sweat equity")... which can be sold for a
tremendous markup (100 to 1 or more)... and... still deliver
something of such immense worth... everybody
wins! Of course, each of you have been given the rights to
reproduce, sell or give away that report with no compensation
to me whatsoever.
I used the issue before that one to go on what
I consider a long-overdue rant. However, even during all that
ranting, I still managed to impart invaluable advice to you
designed to dramatically enhance your life. Namely: "Don't
Forget Grout Sponge!"
The newsletter before that one taught you how
to do what I call "The Suck" which is... how to...
suck out every relevant particle of information on whatever
you are trying to sell... and... how to... get that info down
The issue before that one taught you how to
become a student (and collector) of headlines... and how and
why... you should have those headlines written out (one
to a card) on 3x5 index cards.
We're getting closer to the part where we sit
down and start writing copy (the least
important factor in creating a great direct response ad or
sales letter)... but... we ain't ready to start writing copy
just yet. Nope. What we are ready for now is, to start
searching in the direction of...
The "BIG Idea!"
What exactly is the "BIG Idea"? Fear
not, you greedy, little truth-seekers... because... I, Sir
Gary of Halbert... am about to lay it upon you. I'm going to
tell you a true story which will illuminate exactly what the
BIG Idea" is... and why... in your marketing campaigns,
it is so damn valuable. Also, imbedded in this true story are
many other lessons... which... for those of you who still have
a few working brain cells left... will teach you...
Let us begin. Once upon a time (when dinosaurs
still roamed the earth) I used to work for Ernest Borgnine and
his evil wife, Tova. They had a little cosmetic company called
"TOVA-9" which was a breathtaking clever combination
of the name "Tova" and the second syllable of
Ernie's last name.
When they hired me (the best move they ever
made) I took them from grossing about $20,000 per month and
being in debt... to... grossing about $800,000
per month... and... I managed to do this in less than
half-a-year. This was done mainly by writing an ad for their
main product, a facial cream which hardened into a mask. It
was made by extracting some sort of ingredient from cactus
plants which grew in Mexico. (I think before Tova got the
rights to it, it was being sold by some guy in Mexico under
the name "Happy Face.")
The "BIG Idea" I came up with for
selling that product in the United States was expressed in the
headline I wrote which said:
at last, you can have it too!
Amazing Facelift In A Jar
Used By Hollywood Stars Who
Don't Want Plastic Surgery!
But wait, there's more! For a long time, Tova
had wanted to add a perfume to her line of products. She
traveled the world endlessly paying guys wearing twitter pants
to take a shot at creating a fragrance which would please her.
One fine day, I'm reading the latest edition
of The National Enquirer
when I come across an article on how you can save money on
your favorite perfume by learning how to make that fragrance
yourself. The article explained how all perfumes have, as
their main ingredient, something called an "essential
oil." It further explained how, if you know what that
essential oil is, you can buy some of it for a pittance, mix
it with a little water and alcohol... and PRESTO!... you have
something smelling like Chanel #5 or Opium (or your particular
favorite perfume) for a fraction of the cost of buying the
real thing in a high-class boutique or department store. The
article listed the name of the essential oils used to make the
most popular and expensive perfumes.
That's kinda interesting, isn't it? In fact,
I'd venture to say that article was built
around a very fascinating "BIG Idea."
Sir Halbert logged this intriguing information
into the dark recesses of his demented mind and he proceeds to
continue to journey through his pathetic little life.
On yet another fine day, the Prince of Print
finds himself walking aimlessly through the streets of
Westwood Village which is located just west of Beverly Hills.
He comes upon an outdoor kiosk on one of the sidewalks of
which he happens to be strolling. This little kiosk is filled
with hundreds of test-tube-like thingys which are filled with
different kinds of liquids. The friendly girl working in the
little kiosk explains to ol' Guru Gary each test-tube-like
thingy contains a different kind of essential oil... and
how... she sells those essential oils to women who like to
concoct their own perfumes.
Hmn. Quite interesting.
The Prince queries the sales girl, "Is there any one or two kinds of essential oils which women seem
to like better than the others?"
yes!" she responds. "This
one. It's called 'China Musk' and women much prefer it over
all the others."
kidding," the Prince continues. "Why
doesn't someone pour China Musk into a bottle, mix it with a
little water and alcohol and call it 'ABC Perfume'?"
I dunno. That sounds like a good idea," the fair
maiden replies. "I
guess it's just nobody ever thought of it."
Hmn. Well, Numnuts Halbert was sure thinking
of it, and he bought a test-tube-thingy of that stuff and took
it to a high-end jeweler.
want you to make a real fancy bottle to hold this
liquid," I told the jeweler. "Then,
I want you to have the name 'Tova' etched into that
A few days later, I picked up the bottle (it
looked great), poured some China Musk, water and alcohol into
it, screwed the top back on... and VOILA!... I created TOVA
Hey, that was a neat, not-so-little "BIG
Idea," wasn't it?
Another few days later, I haul my silly ass
down to Melrose Avenue in L.A. where Tova and Ernie are
engaged in a photo shoot. (It takes Tova 5-1/2 hours to get
ready for a photo shoot. It takes Ernie
45-seconds.) During one of the breaks, Tova comes out,
I tell her I have a little present for her and hand her the
this?" she asks.
new fragrance," replies Numnuts Halbert.
She looks very, VERY dubious... but... she
opens the package... admires the bottle... twists the top
off... and... ever-so-softly inhales the aroma.
my... God!" she exclaims. "THIS
IS IT! It's perfect! It's just what I've been looking for! How
did you make it? How did you develop the formula?"
I calmly reply, "you
wouldn't believe how much work and experimentation I've put
into this. I've hardly had a wink of sleep for nearly three
months. This project has involved me in the most difficult
research I've ever done in my entire life!"
Before we can talk more, she gets called back
into the photo session.
I leave, but Tova and I get together a few
days later. By that time, I have designed some truly elegant
packaging for her new fragrance. She wants me to tell her the
secret formula... but... I tell her I want to wait until we've
had a "perfume launch" and find out if the public
likes this fragrance as much as Tova and I do.
She reluctantly agrees and suggests we have
the perfume launch at Candy Spelling's boutique. At that time,
Candy was married to Aaron Spelling (the mega TV show
producer) and she had a boutique in Beverly Hills which would
hold maybe 150 people maximum. I told Tova, if she was going
to let me advertise the perfume launch my
way, she'd need a place much, much larger than Candy's
boutique. When she asked, "How
much larger?" I answered...
The Century Plaza Hotel"
It took her a few minutes to recover from my
answer but, you know what? She actually went out and rented
the entire bottom-half of the Century Plaza Hotel. She really
did. For real.
Then, I wrote an ad. We ran the ad in the Los Angeles Times... and... that ad... got more than 7,000 (seven thousand)
people to come to the perfume launch! And... that perfume
launch was held on a weekday afternoon! In fact, if it hadn't been for the Fire Marshal,
there would have been more than those 7,000 people at
the perfume launch. The Fire Marshal said he simply couldn't
let any more people into the hotel due to fire regulations.
That launch caused such a sensation, it got
mentioned in Time
magazine. Plus... we got millions of dollars' worth of unsolicited
purchase orders from Burdines, Filines of Boston, the May
Company and various others including the Federated Chain. At
that time, the Federated Chain was the biggest chain of
department stores in the world.
Why was that perfume launch so successful?
Because the ad I wrote to promote it was written around a
really terrific "BIG Idea." If you've got even one
drop of marketing blood in your veins, you'll comprehend this
particular "BIG Idea" in a flash as soon as I tell
you the headline of the ad. Personally, I think it's the best
written... and... here it is... so... you can decide for
Of Famous Movie Star Swears
Under Oath Her New Perfume Does Not
Contain An Illegal Sexual Stimulant!
The ad went on to explain how Tova was willing
to give away thousands of samples of her new fragrance... just to prove it was safe to wear in public!
The entire town was buzzing! "What
did she put into the perfume?" "Is it a legal sexual stimulant?"
But, Guru Gary wasn't finished yet. In the
middle of the launch with thousands of people watching and the
TV cameras rolling, I had a special gift delivered to Tova
right there as she stood on stage. The gift was delivered to
her in a velvet-lined box which was handcuffed to the wrists
of two huge, muscular handsome men dressed in tuxedos I had
Want to know what that special gift was? I
It was 13 real gem-quality sapphires. Why 13?
Each One Commemorated A
Sacred, Secret Ingredient Used
In The Making Of Tova Perfume!
Per my instructions, Tova raffled off those
sapphires to the audience in full view of the TV cameras.
for yet another "BIG Idea"?
Which brings us to the question, "Are good ideas really all that important?" Not only are
they important... they
are CRUCIAL! Know this:
Walking On The Beach And
Coming Up With One Good Idea
(If You Implement It) Is Worth
More Than A Lifetime Of Hard Work!
When you hire a world-class copywriter (with
my 30-some-years in the business I only know of about nine of
them) you are not hiring him for his writing ability. Sure, he's got to be a good
writer... but... more than that (much more) he's got to
be a great "idea" man. He has to come up with the idea
which will make your marketing campaign a huge winner. The
actual writing is secondary.
Look, many of my readers are quite slow
(mentally speaking) thus, I'm going to try and explain it...
so simply... even my densest reader can easily understand the
How interested are you in knitting? Aha! Just
as I thought. You're not much attracted to knitting at all
(unless you're Rosie Greer), are you? So, what if I wrote a brilliant
full-page ad about the hottest knitting machine ever
manufactured? Would you read the ad and purchase the machine?
I think not.
Now, let's say you've been married about a
year and your wife is nine months pregnant. Your mother has
volunteered to take your wife to the hospital if she goes into
labor while you're not home. You've given your mother a cell
phone and you wear a beeper around the clock. The simple plan
is for your mom to use the cell phone and page you the moment
labor begins. You go about your work day knowing everything
has been set into place.
One day you're in an important business
meeting. Unbeknownst to you, your wife has gone into labor.
Your mother is desperately trying to use her cell phone and
page you... but... the god of cell phones and beepers (being
the fickle prick he is) won't let your mother's call get
through to your beeper. To make matters worse, she can't even
find a coin pay phone anywhere in the hospital. In the
meantime, your wife has had triplets!
The god of cell phones and beepers (again,
being the fickle prick he is) does let your mother use the
cell phone to get through to me (your close friend) and she
tells me about the births. Naturally, I burst into your
meeting room and tell you the news, "Buckwheat,
your wife just had triplets!" Or I might say, "Hey, I just got a call from your mother and she says your wife has
given birth to three girls!" Or I could say, "Look you guys, I'm sorry to interrupt your meeting... but... I
just got a call from Buckwheat's mother and his wife has just
There Any Way In The World I Could
Use Words To Tell You Your Wife Has
Just Given Birth To Three Babies... That...
Would NOT Be Captivating To You?
Here's the point: It's not how
you say it... it's WHAT you say!
Yes, yes, how
you say it is
important... but... WHAT you say is CRUCIAL!
If I work ten days on an ad, it will likely take me only about
half a day to actually write
the ad. The other nine and a half days will be spent busting
my brain figuring out exactly WHAT to say which will make the ad the most effective. Thus, an average
copywriter will end up exclaiming how many people say they
love the fragrance of Tova's new perfume... while the
Master... Gary Halbert ends up (after much thinking) exclaiming how Tova
Borgnine has been forced to swear under oath her new perfume
does not contain an illegal sexual ingredient.
It's the difference between being world-class
(like me)... or... somebody like Dan Kennedy.
How did those ideas work for Tova's perfume?
Let's see, I created that campaign in 1982 or 1983 and...
Is Still Selling
A Zillion Gallons
Of That Stuff On QVC!
There's a great story about what happened
right after I created that campaign but, the telling of that
story will have to wait for another issue.
Damnit, are you getting any
of this? Am I getting through to you at
all? Did any of you learn anything from reading this newsletter?
Shit. Forget it. Why am I even bothering to
Gary C. Halbert
"No Agenda" seminar has now begun to take
shape in my mind. The goal is to come up with at
least one "BIG Idea"... for every
participant. Thus... if you attend my "No
Agenda" seminar... and... you implement one of
the "BIG Ideas"...
Can Make Monstrous
Amounts Of Fungolas!
Have you called Theresa
at 305/534-7577 yet to let her know you want all
the details so you can attend?
Kennedy pisses me off. He's become too successful, has
too much money, doesn't work as much as he used to...
and... the jerk
even owns a bunch of race horses!
It's not right
and it's not fair. I see it as my duty to drag his ass
back down to where it belongs.
Like, where I am.
Copyright © 2003 Gary C. Halbert. All Rights