From PAS to PADS

I love formulas, especially when it comes to copy.

One of the classics that still rings oh-so-true: PROBLEM-AGITATE-SOLVE

  • State the problem your prospect faces.
  • Twist the knife to create even more agitation re: this irritant.
  • Offer your solution to make the boo-boo better.

I’ve used it many times in promotions of all kinds – videos, long form sales letters, emails, webinars, etc.

It was definitely on my list of “Hacks” to writing copy faster.

But here’s an enhancement to the formula, which I’m sure I’d heard before, but just re-discovered it anew in a program by Dan Kennedy…


Basically, after twisting the knife in the wound (and as legendary Gary Halbert might say, leaving them bleeding profusely from every pore), rub even more self-serving salt in the wound by DISCREDITING conventional wisdom-based solutions.

For example, you’ll almost certainly see this in ads for Weight Loss programs where they reinforce the cold, hard truth that “counting calories doesn’t work, sweating to the oldies doesn’t work, and denying yourself the tasty foods you love absolutely doesn’t work.”

Then, after you dispose of the obvious-yet-ineffective options, you offer up YOUR solution.

What’s great about including DISCREDIT in the mix is it adds to the sense of despair and “all hope is lost.”

I used to do this when marketing my birthday party magic show – laying out the pain of facing down 30-some 5 year olds without a plan… you could plan and run the games yourself… or you could take everyone to a playground or “Pizza Planet”… making it clear that even though these alternatives could work, there’s definitely a significant price to pay / burden to bear.

And then… “Or you could just hire me… so you can relax, sit back, and do nothing but enjoy an adult beverage with friends as all the happy, fully occupied children have a wonderful time. Everyone will thank YOU for throwing the best party ever.”

Nothing to fear as DESPAIR rides off into the sunset.

P.A.S. is great.

P.A.D.S. takes it up another notch, making it even more effective.


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