Gil-Ad Schwartz


“Takes the science of writing persuasive advertising that SELLS for any product or service, and makes it simple.”

Scott Murdaugh,
Marketing Strategist
Springfield, MO


“Gil-Ad Schwartz could very easily become the next Gitomer for the Advertising world. His style brings to the forefront common sense that relates direct to profits.”

Kim Kalan,
VP Marketing & Sales
Route 29 Caramels
Golden Valley, Minnesota


“I’ve long said that the best copywriters also make great teachers, with that rare ability to make key points so clear and easy to understand -- they seem obvious... Gil-Ad Schwartz proves that point, presenting deep concepts with a practical, easy-to-grasp approach.”

Alan Carr, Author,
Carr’s Copywriting Checklist for Professional Copywriters

The “One Master Ninja Move”

How to instantly fix 90% of what’s wrong with your advertising

Previously on Gil-Ad explains advertising:

— Advertising is salesmanship. Your ads should focus on selling.

— Advertising is a process of communication, in which you talk to real people and attempt to persuade them to buy your stuff.

— Creative, funny, or pretty ads are not necessarily persuasive.

— Building a brand should not be a primary focus of your marketing; your brand will build itself as a side-product of good salesmanship.

— Until 1903, Coca-Cola used to be made with cocaine.

A common theme links all of these points: just because you like something doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

Once you come to terms with this, you’ll want to start cleansing your ads of anything and everything which doesn’t help you persuade real people to become clients. And so I present to you my “One Master Ninja Move” — a simple rule which will solve and pre-empt countless advertising problems for as long as you keep applying it. I hope you take the time to emotionally prepare yourself, because this rule is more or less one of the most priceless secrets in all of advertising. It can easily catapult you ahead of all your competitors, most of whom — I guarantee you — may have heard of the rule at one point in time, but nevertheless work hard to convince the world otherwise.

Ready for the rule? Here it is:

Stop saying meaningless nonsense.

In other words, cut out the marketing clichés. They don’t help anyone. When you proclaim “rock-bottom prices” or benefits people can enjoy “from the comfort of their own homes,” all you’re doing is making sounds. You’re just making shapes in ink on paper. You’re not communicating anything. To your prospects, it’s white noise.

If you want to root out these clichés, go over your copy and ask yourself, phrase by phrase, “does this actually mean anything?” You’ll find that there are three responses to that question:

One: yes, this phrase has real meaning. It conveys information and otherwise has substance.

Excellent. Move on.

Two: no, this phrase has no meaning whatsoever.

These will often be phrases you threw in because you felt they sounded good at the time:

And so on. My favorite example hails from the field of real estate, where custom homes are often trumpeted as “architect-designed.” This never ceases to reassure me, as I fear that one day I’ll buy a property whose blueprints a 3-year-old scribbled on a napkin with crayons.

Once you’ve identified the culprit phrases, get rid of them. Get rid of them all. They’re a massive waste of space, and they make you look like a wannabe-corporate idiot.

Three: this phrase is a marketing cliché… but there’s a real message behind it.

OK, so your products really are “specially selected”? You really are a “one-stop shop” for “all your clients’ [whatever] needs”? You really do “go the extra mile” and “treat clients like family”?

Well – frankly – you’ve got your work cut for you. Because there’s no way on earth you can use those phrasings and make them work. (a) Nobody’s going to realize that you’re trying to communicate a real, actual message, and (b) even if they did, they’re not going to believe you.

So here’s what you do – you must qualify and explain the claims you’re making. For example, don’t say, “We use only the finest gherkins.” Instead, say:

When a shipment of gherkins arrives, we assess each gherkin to see if it passes our strict three-part test. On average, only 1 gherkin in 13 meets our color, size, and texture criteria. The other 12 we send back to the supplier so that they can be turned into animal feed.

If you really use “only the finest” gherkins, you should be able to back up your statement with details, as above. Likewise, don’t say, “We go the extra mile.” Showcase testimonials in which your clients gush about what exactly you did that went above and beyond and solved their emergency.

When the problem is just a case of hackneyed phrasings – like “the comfort of your own home” – you just need to reword the copy. The best way to do that is to strengthen the benefits themselves. Ask yourself: So what if you can use [whatever product] “in the comfort of your own home”? What does that mean? It means…


This way, you communicate the actual benefits of “the comfort of your own home” in a way that’s impactful and tangible… without even mentioning the cliché itself.

If you need any further clarification, don’t hesitate to contact Gil-Ad Schwartz Advertising Training & Consulting, your industry-leading, conveniently located one-stop shop for all your marketing consulting needs. Our specially trained professional staff will go the extra mile for you and ensure you get just what you need, when you need it. For a full-service consultancy that’s passionate about advertising perfection, you’ve tried the rest – now try the best!

Or in other words:

Let’s take a 5-minute break for anti-emetics, and then pick up where we left off.

>>> Next: Persuasion 101, or the science of getting people to do what you want

“Gil-Ad’s advice is direct and actionable... His insights on salesmanship, customer- (not company-) focused ads and measurable results are refreshingly simple.”

Chris Williams,
MBA (Harvard)


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Tim York, CEO
Unistraw Int’l Ltd
Sydney, Australia


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Philip Young,
Secretary 2011-13
Oxford University
Pistol Club


“[15-minutes of advice] like a college course in sales copy.”

Will Atkinson
Texas-based online entrepreneur


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Edward W. Smith, MBA
New York

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