“Welcome to our cooling room,” said the brewer as he brought his guest Claude Hopkins into the room. “Wow!” said Claude Hopkins, the advertising copywriter, as he looked at the amazing cooling room.
Claude Hopkins was trying to get some on-site inspiration on how to help Schlitz sell more beer.
In the cooling room was a large aquarium-like structure with glass plate walls. Inside were chilled pipes, and beer dripped down from the top of the room, onto the pipes, and cooled beer was collected in the bottom of the aquarium. The air inside the aquarium was filtered.
“It’s very neat, but most of the other brewers have those cooling rooms,” said the brewer. “Cleanliness is key to our brewing process. Here we clean every pump and pipe – two times daily! – and we actually clean every single beer bottle four times,” the brewer explained.
“Impressive!” said Claude Hopkins.
“Yes, but most of the other brewers do the same things,” said the brewer. “Here is water flowing in from our 4,000 feet deep artesian wells. Even though we are located next to Lake Michigan, we choose to get more pure water from these deep wells. But, most of the other brewers do this too,” the brewer said.
“Next, we have what we call our yeast cell here in this lab. This yeast has evolved over 1,200 experiments so that we have the perfect flavor. But, again, most brewers have their own yeasts as well,” the brewer said.
“Ok, but no other brewer is telling these stories!” Claude Hopkins explained. “You are all battling each other by calling your beers ‘pure,’ but how about we describe exactly how pure your beer is!” Claude Hopkins said.
Later that day, Claude Hopkins wrote up his notes from the experience. He used those notes and the experience of that tour to pen a variety of advertisements for Schlitz Beer.
Because those advertisements educated — and entertained! — people were very eager to try Schlitz Beer because they were amazed with how it was made. Schlitz shot up from fifth place in beer sales to first place in just a few months!
That shows you the power of a story. The power of explaining what it is you do, and how you do it. “The more you tell, the more you sell,” goes the saying inside the copywriting world.
And, it shows the magic that can happen when an outsider comes in, and tells the whole world about what it is you do!
Claude Hopkins would later go on to write the book Scientific Advertising, which explains how to sell using scientifically proven methods. These methods still work today, even in the so called “new media” and social media age!