In New York City, on Madison Avenue (where we used to have our offices) there are hundreds of advertising executives. They live under a lot of stress and many of them try to develop outside incomes so they can walk away from the fray someday.
It’s still a lot like Mad Men.
Some of them invest with Wall Street brokers. Some buy art. Some buy gold.
Two friends decided to do something different. They bought into a Washington State orchard that had a mail order apple business.
Everything went great in the first season. But in the second season, disaster! A hailstorm pockmarked all the apples before they were picked. Shaking, the farmer partner called New York. “We’re ruined. We have to cancel all the orders and send those checks back.”
One of the Madison Avenue guys was a top copywriter. He said, calmly, “Give me a couple of minutes. I’ll call you back.”
He thought about it for a minute and then wrote:
“You will notice that your apples have marks from hail damage. This is due to the high altitude at which they grow. The hail marks are your assurance that these are the sweetest, most delicious apples you’ve ever had.”
He faxed the note to the farm in Washington with instructions: Have the note printed and inserted into every order.
There were no complaints from customers and in Year Three many of them wrote on their Order Forms: Hail-damaged if possible, please.
Just goes to show you what you can do with a little creative copywriting.