I've often heard that the highest paid copywriters in the world work for The National Enquirer.
I guess it's not so surprising when you know that The National Enquirer is one of the top 5 magazines in single-copy sales... and that it sells millions of copies right off the shelves every single year.
Since I'm a student and practitioner of copywriting, I like to scan headlines to see what works and what doesn't.
This weekend, while I was at Wal-Mart picking up diapers for the kids, I happened to see a headline I thought was brilliant...
On the cover of The National Enquirer was a photo of newly acquitted Michael Jackson. The headline:
How He Beat It!
This headline is masterful. It's a quadruple entendré. Can you spot the four meanings?
- How Jackson beat the court system.
- How Jackson engaged in self-sex.
- How Jackson "beat it" (got out of there as fast as he could).
- How Jackson sang the song "Beat It."
This headline probably wouldn't do very well in a direct response sales letter, but it certainly works well on the cover of The National Enquirer.