The Truth About “Offensive” Marketing

I’m feeling under the weather today, and so wasn’t sure what to write about.

Thankfully, in between heaving coffee at the porcelain throne, I had a thought, and that thought was this:

What if offensive” marketing isn’t new?

I mean, in the ┬ámarketing world there are some “gurus” who make a living off of being

They even sell courses, scripts, and other products teaching YOU how to eliminate your mild-mannered politeness to make more moolah as a villain.

They’re so popular, I probably don’t even have to name them.

(So I won’t waste your precious time by calling them out.)

But what if…

… and hear me out on this one…

… being “offensive” isn’t just something you can find in new media?

What if marketing that works has always been offensive?

Direct response marketing, the kind of marketing I was trained in, has always gone against the branding grain by doing things like:

  • Speaking directly to benefits, instead of brand features
  • Asking for the sale in every piece of copy
  • Making OUTRAGEOUS claims and backing them up with audacious proof
  • Talking about the problems no one’s talking about (the tamest of which was probably “do you make these mistakes in English?”… and we all know what Lysol used to be used for)
  • Telling unforgettable, un-put-down-able stories that stick (“one legged golfer”, anyone?)

“Offensive” marketing has always been the status quo, because marketing doesn’t work unless you grab attention.

And grabbing attention involves getting beyond the “box” your piece of copy would otherwise fall into.

If you’re having trouble making your marketing work, it might be time to look at what you’re doing to grab attention.

Are you using pattern interrupts in your VSLs, stories, and social media?

Are you using personality to differentiate your marketing from the bland brand voice everyone else is using?

And finally, are you making attention-grabbing offers that your buyers actually want to take advantage of?

If not, why not?

“Offensive” marketing isn’t new. The good news is you can find it in the annals of marketing going back over a hundred years. You can find it in emails, books, VSLs. You can even find it in infomercials.

It’s everywhere, IF you know where to look.

And when you need help with this, send Adam and I an email at, or send a PM and we’ll discuss your project. If it’s a good fit, we’ll take it on. If not, we’ll refer you to someone else who can help.

About the Author

Lynn Swayze is a Direct Response Copywriter, fiction author, and NLP Master-in-training who uses empathy, visualization, and time-tested persuasion techniques to write better copy. She writes copy for consultants, course creators, alternative health supplements, mindset coaches, and IT companies. She can be hired for landing pages, funnel copy, webinars, VSLs, and story-based email series. Send an email to to discuss your next marketing project and how Lynn can help.