Piggy Bank“Faith means trust­ing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.” - Phillip Yancey

How often has your ini­tial sat­is­fac­tion with a pur­chase faded over time, leav­ing you with the bit­ter after­taste of buyer’s remorse?

It’s an all-too com­mon expe­ri­ence that makes us all wary with our hard won pay­checks. Not that we nec­es­sar­ily expect first-rate cham­pagne for second-rate beer prices, but we do hope, at least, that we’ll look back on a con­sid­ered pur­chase and think, “That was money well spent.”

We may spend money to “take a chance” on some­thing — say a book, a course, or even some won­der vit­a­min — but only with the hope that our future selves will look back and thank us for the deci­sion to buy, deem­ing it “money well spent…”

Copy­writ­ing magic begins when you under­stand this back­wards look and bake it into your copy by bring­ing the prospect, in their mind’s eye, into that promised, happy future, where they can look back on the present pur­chase with grat­i­tude at the pur­chase that brought them so much sat­is­fac­tion and hap­pi­ness.  Use this men­tal time travel to invest the present pur­chase with the full weight of fate and for­tune, and to replace your reader’s ten­ta­tive hopes with the cer­tainty of expe­ri­ence — imag­ined expe­ri­ence, yes, but expe­ri­ence none the less.

So what does this have to do with Mer­lin?  Well, you don’t think it was an acci­dent that Mer­lin trav­elled through time back­wards do you? How else do you think he worked his magic?

Want to see this in action? Click the link, watch the video, and see a mas­ter­ful use of this per­sua­sive time travel. Oh yeah, and it’s a great movie clip as well — you’ll be smil­ing all day think­ing about it ;)

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  1. Shane Arthur on 09.16.2010

    What movie is that? Enter­tain­ing indeed.

  2. Jeff on 09.16.2010


    The clip was taken from Richard Linklater’s Before Sun­rise. Well worth the watch and some­thing of a cult clas­sic for many of us Gen Xers ;)

  3. Mark@ Make Them Click on 09.17.2010

    Ah yes, “Buy­ers Remorse” here in Aus­tralia we just call it “the guilts” , unless of course we’re on a con­sult­ing gig, when it becomes “post cog­ni­tive dissonance”

    Oh, and thanks for the lovely Julie Delpy. “French and fantastique”

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