this is how you write a great headline.

I’ve been studying copy writing for the past 2-3 years very closely.

Today  I will write about an ad I really loved.

One habit I got into when I began studying copy writing is saving cool ads I see. Every time I come across an effective advertisement I immediately save the image or take photo of it and save it on my Iphone.

I keep a swipe image folder in my phone devoted to this called Swipe.  I also have one on my desktop of my lap top called Swipe. You should make one too if you’re into improving your copy skills.

Recently, while browsing twitter (I still love twitter) I came across this famous ad from 80’s (?). I’m not a huge car guy, but this headline sucked me in 4 seconds.


Now that’s a great headline. Nailing it.  I haven’t seen many ads by this company, but I would say this is the Porsche of Porsche ads.

One common thing I noticed about old ads:

  1. Huge Headline to grab your attention. And Makes you want to read the next line.
  2. Image relevant to what’s being sold.
  3.  The copy.

One thing I really liked about this ad is the ending sentence. “It is, in fact, the Porsche of stereos.” Tying it all together. Nice copy.

More importantly it proves a point about copy.  It doesn’t have to be scammy sounding to grab people’s attention.  That’s what my initial thought was when I first heard about copy writing and marketing. I kept seeing bullshit headlines on the web like –  ” How to make passive income online in 50 days!” Doesn’t have to be like that.

What does this ad make you feel? Great copy almost doesn’t even register. It just makes you want to spend money.


number one marketer


I’m going to make a bold claim here.

You know who I think is the Number one marketer of all time?  Guess.  You would never guess it: Buddha .

He became so popular in India within 50 years and eventually the rest of Asia and by how ?  By expressing how his philosophy works for him. He told people how something worked for him. His friends tried it and it worked for them too. Ashoka The Great of India loved his philosophy and spread the message even further. The cycle continued, etc.


Same thing I noticed with Richard Branson. His biggest following I found to be isn’t on facebook or twitter but on linked in!  He’s known as this cool, adrenaline junkie businessman. You should follow him on LinkedIn and also add me on while you’re at it (click here).

He recently wrote a piece on the importance of taking notes.  And it reasoned with a lot of people. Initially I was dumb founded by this. Why? Because as  a billionaire he’s probably disconnected from the average worker.  But the thing is people relate to him because despite his luxury lifestyle, he has habits that are relatable and plus he’s writing from his perspective, which is all he can do. Being a sorta of hippie and having long hair must help too in promoting his Virgin empire.

Other things is because of the internet, everyone (even you) is getting smarter and smarter if they’re curious enough. You can find anything you didn’t know about 2 mins before.  It’s hard to be too dishonest with people nowadays like say in 1920 or even 1980’s: or even a thousand years ago during the time of Buddha. You can only say how it works for you !! That’s why people skip descriptions and go straight to reviews.   They want to know if others like them found your product worthwhile.

Some random thoughts 😉

Peace out.


my first iphone app

It’s the middle of the night.

You have this non-stop craving for something delicious.

Something worthy of your taste buds.

For me that urge is only fulfilled by the middle east taco known as shawarma. 

Sometimes after a night out, I had trouble finding the nearest shawarma restaurant to my location. I would then have to do a google search. My fingers would usually mess up the spelling.. it was too much of a hassle.

I would then ponder late at night in my bed, while staring at my ceiling fan, and ask myself the really BIG questions of life. One of them was:

 “Why isn’t there a simple app that.. with one press of a button could DO THIS FOR ME!?”

So I put these two ideas together (iphone app & shawarma locator) like a genius, and decided to create  something.

It’s called Nearest Shawarma.

home screen

So please check my app out, FINALLY in the App store after two rejections (I explain why later). Click below.

app store button 

Once you download it to your Iphone,  you can see it’s a fairly simple app that shows you the closest place  you can chow down on shawarma goodness from ANYWHERE in the world. For free.

How cool is that? It’s pretty cool.

Now please repeat after me:

Thou shall never go to bed without a shawarma in ze tummy.

Thou shall never go to bed without a shawarma in ze tummy.

Just doing my bit for society.

So a question I got from friends while making the app was:  what about the money?

Well the goal wasn’t to make money on this first one.  It was just to learn the process behind making an app.

And it’s definitely been a learning experience. I’ve outsourced some things before, but this was different stress. When I use the word stress, I really mean eustress – one that’s healthy for you.  Figuring out how to do something you’ve never done before is always uneasy at first, in this case –  working with Apple and finding a good Iphone App Developer.

Drawing out the idea, communicating it’s functionality, learning a little about enabling google API’s (this is what finds the restaurants) and other nerdy stuff, etc.

It wasn’t that difficult either, but it required some persistence.  Lots of email/skype chats early morning/late nights since my developer, who I found on,  lived in Eastern Europe. I oddly enjoyed it.

The reason why it was rejected a few times because it was reviewed as too simple of an app. I had to add features, such as the Favourites button, to make it of higher quality. Or perhaps the Apple reviewer  was having a bad day when I first submitted it (I’ve heard of some people’s app being approved without much in changes).

Also  – It helps to type out the procedures of re-submitting the app as well.

This is where the design for the App icon came from.  Remixing ideas. I knew a RED icon would stand out on the screen. I sent this to my developer’s team.

app icon idea

Make sure you find a developer who can speak English clearly and will communicate with you at least every 2-3 days. Take your time hiring the developer as it will save a lot time. Hire slow, fire fast.

Anywaaaays, I’m now off to the bar to celebrate.  Just in case you’re too lazy to scroll up and check it out:  Here’s the link again.

Any comments or feedback welcomed.



my water project

Happy 2013 amigos!

A couple of months ago I got an email from charity:water.  They’re a organization that provides clean drinking water to people in developing countries.

I decided this was a worthy enough charity to give to, simply because 100% of the funds you donate goes directly to people who lack access to water. A lot of apprehension some have with charities is that it’s wasted on operations, ie the horror stories of corrupt officials, etc. In the case of charity:water,  they have private donors who have already taken over the operating expenses.

Anyways, I kinda of forgot about my donation from about 2 years ago!  Until they emailed me recently ( and all the others who donated) with photo’s and details about the project completion.

They actually showed me proof of what they did.  Actual photographic evidence of a tiny village in Ethiopia with a new water well.  Here are some photo’s:

mycharity_ water-1

mycharity_ water-2mycharity_ water-3mycharity_ water

They actually delivered the results !This blew me away! I mean I’ve donated before, but I wasn’t too aware of what happened with it. It’s powerful marketing when you can show a client (me) the before and after. They also mentioned to me ”  the communities contributed their own labor to build their water projects and formed Water Committees to maintain them for years to come.”  Very cool.

Which leads me to ask, have you ever gave funds to a worthwhile cause? I mean it’s easy to blow it on clubs, clothes, other entertainment all the time. Not saying become a Mother Teresa.  But also don’t wait to help humanity. You don’t have to wait till yer 50 to make a bit of difference in the world. A little bit right now helps.

go to your customers

Today, ladies and gentleman,  I’m doing a post on my friends honey business : Wild Rose Honey, which produces honey just outside of Calgary.

You can check out  the website by clicking here.

Anyways, this post is an  example of hustling.

Several months ago,  there was a documentary screening at a local independent movie theater. It was about the disturbing trend of decreasing bee populations that is occurring worldwide. Somehow my friend got word of this documentary (he’s a bee keeper) and decided to have a little fun.

Now, there are all sorts of concerns about how decreasing bee populations affect the environment. But what really interested me was that my business savvy bee keeper and his friends decided to create a booth outside the cinema hall and sell honey right after the film was over!

So smart.  Why??

Everyone attending was already interested in honey, thus this led to many sales. Easy peasy japanesey. I did something similar  during university days, I made and sold protein smoothies right outside of the gym entrance.

Lesson: Go where your market is located.

Who are they, where are they located? They are already interested in products related to this, so you have permission to sell them. Not to mention in this particular case – there is a willingness to assist local honey producers after seeing the plight of the bee populations. I should add they got some funny looks from other honey farmers attending…  probably jealous that they didn’t take advantage of this opportunity!

Textbook knowledge can’t compare with real world experience.

PS: if you’re thinking “oh what about a business license to do this or getting permission for this”.. relax. As the old saying goes – easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.  Work around these issues, the police aren’t going to chase after you.

hey you, don’t buy this jacket!

I was nerding out one day watching a question and answer video on Tim Ferriss, where he recommended 3 books, one of them being  this business memoir called Let My People Go Surfing.

I read the first few pages and instantly got drawn to this unusual story.  It’s a topsy turvy life story by Yvon Chouinard, who reluctantly started a business based on his love for the outdoors, mainly rock climbing and hiking, etc.

He started to create tools and materials that he felt he needed. He realized others liked and desired these products too, so he created this company as we know today as Patagonia.

I like this guy a lot cos he challenges conventional wisdom on business.  Not to just aim for pure profits, but make society better.

Anyways, I got curious yesterday and thought.. I wonder what Patagonia’s blog like?  So I  found it and  came across this beauty post explaining their latest advertising in the New York Times.

DON”T BUY THIS JACKET is the headline!  On America’s greatest consumer holiday – Black Friday!

I mean you must be thinking oh how clever. Addressing the consumerists. Say don’t buy it, taking the opposite approach to capture attention. That’s what my initial reaction would be to this if I didn’t know the Patagonia back story.

AND yes! That’s what it is  – however this is not just a stunt.  Patagonia throughout it’s history has had this philosophy:  don’t buy more if you don’t need it.

It’s controversial, yes, but the motive is  to cause you to re-examine your purchasing practices. Do you really need it? Maybe you were leaning this way, but this might push you to be even more mindful. Perhaps to check out Patagonia’s website to learn more if it’s a strong interest to you.

This is my kind of advertising.  Some people hate marketing, but don’t realize this is the equilibrium we live in. This is how you fight back.

starbucks price increase? nooo


I try to convince my friends that the reason to use twitter is learn about all this amazing insightful stuff on business, psychology, latest health studies by scientists, etc. Yes I follow Conan as well for comedy relief. I mean it’s what you want it to be – entertainment or learning, if you choose to follow the right people.

I came across a tweet by Ramit Sethi on Starbucks raising prices.  You can check out the article by clicking here.

There are some fancy words in the article, but this part right here caught my eye:

A key attribute of those practicing value based pricing is never explicitly saying that they are practicing value based pricing. There are always other reasons and you never say pricing at customer willingness to pay. A key part of practicing effective pricing is effective pricing communication and managing customer perception. Failing that you will face backlash as some brands recently did.

Its true, its all about elasticity of pricing and the lack of concern by Starbucks coffee drinkers.  They’ll pay whatever asked for their favorite cup of coffee.

These caffeine addicts almost want a reason by the company so that they themselves can justify paying more to themselves and there friends!

This won’t work with, say Bank of Montreal, because they don’t offer a premium service that consumers know them for.  Instead, they offer standard banking services, which gives consumers very low switching costs.  Starbucks is about the feel you get when you walk out of the store holding their brand in your hand.  Bank of Montreal is about getting the best ROI (a pretty poor one).