Create Hyper-Responsive Marketing WITHOUT Hype.

This kinda crap doesn’t work anymore – maybe do a  little audit of your marketing and see if you’ve got any of this lingering in your key messaging:

Explode (Your profits – not your head)

Let’s use it in a sentence:

This amazing secret is guaranteed to literally skyrocket your efforts and explode your profits by using extraordinary techniques to create tremendous results and build an awesome bottom line for your business – while creating a massive bank account.

Heh.  Ya know, reading it again… It’s really kind of familiar, right?  I mean, more or less, we’ve seen some sort of sentence or headline or body copy that’s almost exactly like that.

And it’s CRAP.

The problem is, it’s easy to write like that, so – it becomes a crutch for knuckle-heads that believe that their audience is dying for this kind of flame-throwing marketing.

Call me crazy, but I’m going to strongly suggest that there’s a better way to message that creates stronger results, loyalty, higher conversions, and the kind of name recognition that’s usually reserved for only the biggest brands.

Take this little test – of the following tag-lines, how many do you recognize?


ClubMed    The antidote for civilization
Apple  Think Different
GLAD    Don’t get mad, Get GLAD
Memorex    Is it live or is it Memorex?
Outback Steakhouse    No rules Just right
Secret Deodorant    Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman
Target    Expect more. Pay less
United Negro College Fund    The mind is a terrible thing to waste
US Marines    We’re looking for a few good men
MasterCard    There are some things that money can’t buy. For everything else there’s MasterCard.

If you’re in the United States, and over 30, there’s a good chance you recognize them ALL.  What’s more, i’ll bet you can even envision how the advertising looked and sounded once you saw the tag line…

Now – try this.  Below are some really powerful brands and their tag lines.  See how many of THESE you can recognize:


Ernst & Young    Quality in everything we do
Fancy Feast    Good taste is easy to recognize
Ford    Bold Moves
Honda    The power of dreams
Pepsi    For those who think young
Wells Fargo    The next stage
Aflac    Ask about it at work
Bank of America    Higher standards
Cheez-It    Get your own box
CNET    The source for computing and technology

Hmmm.  Not quite as many, right?  And that’s pretty weird, because all of those companies from that batch are enormous, well-funded, and probably have an army of Ad Agency execs focus-grouping EVERY word.

So, how come we remember so vividly the tag lines from the first group, but can barely place the tag lines from the second?

I have an Theory….

The concept is called the “Anti-Something”.

Basically, those tag lines from GROUP 1 contain concept that is focusing on something that is NOT, or AGAINST something else.

Lets see:

Apple – Think Different.

Apple is advocating that it is NOT for the same old tired personal computing experience, and they succeed in implanting that idea in your head with ONE word – Different.

ClubMed – The antidote for civilization

An Antidote is generally used to combat poison.  Again, with a single word, ClubMed imply’s that civilization sucks, and they they have the answer.

Glad – Don’t get Mad, Get GLAD

The operative phrase here is “Don’t get Mad”.  This is about NOT doing something, which means that something BAD does NOT have to occur – and the solution to preventing that bad series of events is to GET something.  Genius.

Memorex – Is it Live, of is it Memorex.

Authors Note: If you’re too young to remember, Memorex was one of the largest cassette tape manufacturers in the world.  Cassettes would often contain music or voice that would be played back on a cassette player.  (End Snark)

Another example of “NOT”.  It’s NOT live, which is usually regarded as the superior experience when listening to your favorite music.  They didn’t say how awesome Memorex tape is, they just planted the question in your brain – one that compels you to discover the truth of the statement.  Yeah, pretty gangster, right?

Outback Steakhouse – No Rules, Just Right.

Welcome to the Sympathetic Rebellion.  While we live by rules, ask anyone who feels stifled or constrained, they’ll tell you that unfair or draconian rules are part of the problem.  Here, a simple declarative statement of NO Rules opens our mind to the possibility of being left with a pure experience – the Just RIGHT part.   Also, notice the nod to Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  Clever they are, reminding us of that childhood fairy-tale.

Secret Deodorant    Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman

At first, this comes across as a possible insult to smelly women everywhere.  Um…. Okay – no more coffee for the rest of this blog post.
Relying on the fundamental differences that we all understand about the sexes, this tag-line rocks it with CONTRAST – the word “but” dramatically highlights that the product is capable of being effective in Harsh (i.e. Smelly Dude) situation, yet constructed specifically for the fairer gender.  They are AGAINST women using the harsh and over-bearing solutions that men have to endure.

Target    Expect more. Pay less

Another lesson in contrast.  Raise Expectations with a fairly general statement, then raise them even higher by being AGAINST high prices – being NOT for expensive solutions.  Anti-expensive.

 United Negro College Fund    The mind is a terrible thing to waste

Two huge operative words here – Terrible and Waste.  When they’re juxtaposed with the concept of a Mind, we’re not thinking about a brain, we’re thinking about a person – more specifically, a persons FUTURE.  Never mind the fact that every decent person, especially a parent would agree whole-heartedly with that statement, it also appeals to the masses because it contains a terrible consequence – wasting of a mind.

 US Marines    We’re looking for a few good men

No, they’re not looking for EVERYONE.  They’re looking for a FEW.  Bad Advertising is positioned so that every one that see’s it thinks that it could possible apply to them.  GREAT MARKETING is positioned to cause the viewer to believe that they might be one of the special ones that the message is aimed at.  THIS is the kind of scarcity that has nothing to do with count-down timers or student limits – this kind of scarcity creates the absolute HIGHEST kind of brand value their is – self-qualifying.

MasterCard    There are some things that money can’t buy. For everything else there’s MasterCard.

Not only one of my favorites, but also one of the most parodied tag lines ever.  It’s bold because it takes the Anti-consumer position.  It asks the viewer to reflect on how life is much more than what you own or what you use.  It asks us to envision both the simple, daily pleasures, as well as the more poignant, unique moments that become part of our individual history.

But it also never lets us forget that we live in a worlds where there is “everything else” – and while that might not be nearly as important as those special moments that money can’t buy, when you DO need money, hey… we’ve got this little bit of plastic right here to make that happen.

Consider – a company that makes it money by providing money is taking a position that money can’t by everything.

That’s the ultimate Anti-Something position.

Now, if you look at the second group, guess what?  They don’t focus on what they are NOT.  They focus on what their PRODUCT is.

Contrast that with the first group that focuses on what the CUSTOMERS Experiences.

The result is, the prospect or viewer is disarmed because the message takes them into a place that they were not expecting – it causes them to consider a different point of view – it asks them to answer a question, or consider the truth of an uncommon perspective.

And I’ll be damned – it works every single time.

No hype required – just a company using marketing to focus on something that it’s NOT, instead of something that they MAKE.

Look at your marketing, specifically, what your product or your company proposes to do for your customer.  Is it about YOU, or your product?  Or does it challenge convention and engage the viewer with a question or statement that then COMPELS them to seek an answer.

If you look around the Internet Marketing space, there’s one example that stands out – the Anti-Something example that Dan Kennedy uses.

His books are branded as the “No B.S.” series.  Right there, an Anti-Something position.  Notice that his seminal work “No B.S. Marketing” is not called “Tremendously Awesome” marketing.  The title doesn’t relate to what the product is – his chose position is to tell you what the product is NOT.

And once you read it, now you’re wondering exactly what No B.S. marketing is, and why it’s different than everything else.

Two things:

First, in the comments below, TELL me what favorite tag line you can remember  - make it one of your favorites.

Second, since Dan Kennedy has NEVER released a Free Video, I would consider what’s happening right now a sort of SPECIAL event.

The Anti-Something positioning method is going to be a completely NEW way of thinking for most folks – and honestly, i see so much garbage marketing that this NEW way of thinking should probably become the STANDARD way of thinking.

There’s a few examples in Dan’s video tutorial that make it clear that this stuff works.

For example – You know that guy Jared?  The guy that lost a bunch of weight eating only Subway Foot Long Sandwiches?  Uhhh…

DUDE – A Fast Food Chain was able to position itself as a DIET FOOD!!!

That’s the kind of stuff that Dan talks about in this video.  Personally, i think it’s a must watch.  Don’t be afraid of the opt-in – this entire blog post was inspired by just ONE 2 minute tip I got from his video.

 Click here to watch Dan Kennedy’s DNA Tutorial <–

  • Presentation Skills Training

    melts in your mouth, NOT in your hands!

    • Mark

      Took me years to figure what they meant when I had a multi-colored hand after eating. The saying is “Milk Chocolate. Melts it your mouth, not in your hands.” The shell melts in your hand, but the milk chocolate doesn’t because it’s protected by the shell. Maybe it’s just me.

  • Steve Roberts

    It might be a cliche but as far as I am concerned it is the best ever – “Just Do It”

    Thanks for the post.

  • Jesse

    Taco Bell – Think outside the bun.

    You know what Andy, maybe this time I won’t be afraid of the opt-in.

    Great posts as always.

  • Robert Scanlon

    “Heineken: Refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach”

    Cuzin Robert (Pommy, hence the Heineken memory, but now resides down under)

  • Jonathon | HowToWebinar

    Hungry Jacks: The Burgers Are Better

    Now, this only fits into the “anti-something” category because the marketing budget of that other very well known “I’m lovin’ it” hamburger marketing company -

  • Ruben A

    Ya know, I saw the first and second video before reading this post an I was awfully suspicious about the way the four part video was presented, and the style of the videos, smelled like a stinky Cuz…

    I’m now sure it’s stinky Cuz behind the lenses! And to restate what others have said, great way to plug the video! I’ve gotten the same stock email from 50 other guys promoting the videos (OK, maybe not 50) and this post of yours outdrinks them all!

  • Ruben A

    I forgot, “…without giving up Pizza and Beer” IS a great headline for Tim Ferriss’ slow carb diet, and it’s true, except that you have to wait for the binge day. They can find out about the minor detail in the fine print.

  • AJ Roberts

    The uncola – 7up

  • Vik Cuban

    “You can’t feed a turkey grits” would be my favorite.

  • Ted

    I think John Carlton just rolled over in his grave! oh, wait… he’s not quite dead yet… Massively, Awesome, Amazing post cousin Andy. Here’s one for your list: “It takes a licking but keeps on ticking”

  • Debbie Evran

    “Ah, Bisto!”

    I can almost smell my Mum’s Sunday roast from here!

  • Patrick McGuire

    Andy this one is pretty much Canadiana, but it is iconic from a fast food burger chain…

    “Where’s the beef?”

    …pitching theirs versus the others in the 80′s

    I love Dan Kennedy and read almost everything he puts out. thanks for the marketing reminders Andy. Stay cool.

  • Chris

    “Leadership is a Verb not a Noun”

  • Chas Miller

    The first one I ever remember hearing is this classic…

    “Timex, it takes a licking and keeps on ticking!”

    • Chas Miller

      Oh crap! Now I’ve dated myself!

  • Jim Smith

    Maker’s Mark: It is what it isn’t.


    This is definitely NOT as the other posts i’ve read about Dan’s videos!… This one is awesome!

    BTW great article title too!!!… ;)

    Tu amigo,


  • Bill Hayden

    No one can eat just one… Lays Potato Chips. Kinda makes you say, “oh yeah? are they that good? let me see.”

  • Henri

    “Nothing tops the copper top”
    -Duracell from the 80′s

    Also, they were one of the first companies (that I remember anyways) to use a custom sound byte to brand themselves. That’s another advertising subject we could explore in and of itself.

  • Richard Rossbauer

    Remember “99 percent pure – it floats” for Ivory soap?

  • vancouver internet marketer

    Very cool, and helpful. I need stuff like this to show my clients when creating headlines. Do you have formulas like “fill in the blanks” to create these powerful messages?

  • Wesley

    Quality is Job 1. (Ford Motor Co). The “anti-something” being ‘we don’t make junk, ‘we are against poor workmanship,’ etc., etc.

    I will agree with many others that have made comments: Andy, fantastic post. I enjoy reading a pitch where I don’t feel like I am being pitched. You did it here, and very well. I am weary of constant pitches from even big names. These guys think so much of themselves they can say “you should buy this because I made a bagillion dollars, so I know better. Buy it.” Puke. All you guys that do that, take a lesson from Andy.

  • Cincinnati web design

    Another famous one that is anti-something:

    American Express – “Don’t leave home without it”

  • Niki

    Guinness – worth waiting for

    It’s about NOT hurrying

  • Niki

    The words aren’t CRAP Andy.
    They’re just thrown together in a predictable way that people have seen hundreds of times before. (All badly copying the SWS).
    “Secret” can still create intrigue enough to open a blog
    “Skyrocket” can still give you a surge of hope/motivation/energy
    “Awesome”… yeah awesome is crap.

    It’s about thinking around the obvious. Having fun with concepts. Anti-design is a classic way of doing this.
    Think of what you don’t want and all of a sudden it’s easier to see what you do.
    Write heinous hideous ugly stuff and see what it has to offer.
    Design a home (I’m an interior designer!) that just wouldn’t work – upside down stairs, knife floors etc and see how it frees the mind to design for ‘reality’ (if THAT exists).

    Interesting stuff Andy.
    Love your tone of voice.

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