Vinny’s Velvet Hammer

Vinny Warren of The Escape Pod likes what he calls “the hard sell.”

What is the hard sell? The hard sell is the ad that instantly makes you want what’s being advertised. You’d think this would be the permanent orientation of advertising ALL THE TIME. But it isn’t. People can get a bit lax in good economic times. And forget their real job. Recession makes you keener. We’re all watching our spending a lot more closely.
The hard sell is where advertising craft comes into play. It separates the wheat from the chaff. I love the hard sell. You know those infomercials that you watch and instantly make you want what’s being sold? I love them. Because they very obviously work. And great advertising very obviously works. Always. We can all feel it. We just want what’s being advertised.

In two related posts Warren offers up examples of the hard sell. Here they are:

It’s clear from the examples VW gives that the hard sell in Warrenese isn’t a blunt instrument. Rather, a velvet hammer.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.