Defining Your “Super-Objective” That Connects All the Elements of Your Writing Together

By now you’ve gotten almost all of the pieces in order. You understand your environment, you not only understand yourself and your product inside and out, but you also now know exactly who you are speaking to and what keeps them up at night.

Now it’s time to tie all of these loose ends together. You must define the big overarching goal of your scene. What is your ultimate goal?

This is called your “super objective.”

Sounds a lot like a comic book trope, right?

In every episode of Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock has an objective.

The basic goal is to solve a mystery. Beyond that, there’s most likely an emotional reason for doing so.

Maybe he wants to avenge the death of a loved one? Perhaps he just wants to prove to himself he’s capable of it? Or maybe he wants to prove it to someone else?

Chances are, this super-objective is motivated by everything else you’ve already researched. It’s a combination of the influence of the times, the character’s background, social setting, friends, adversaries … you name it.

Whatever the major motivation is, it propels every single action he takes throughout the scene (and possibly the whole show or film!). It informs every interaction he has, how he approaches problems, and how he justifies his actions.

What Is Your Super-Objective in Copywriting?

In copywriting, the super-objective is the “big promise” you’re making. It's the overarching theme of your entire piece that connects all of the elements together. The term is used to describe the core idea that your content is trying to sell.

For example, David Oglivy wrote a classic ad for Rolls-Royce with the headline, “At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.” The sub-headline quotes an engineer about how the attention to detail in the Rolls-Royce is what makes it the best car in the world.

Talk about a clear promise that prominently displayed a huge benefit he knew was important to the target market!

And then he used the rest of the copy to showcase the big benefits of the small details throughout the car. All discovered from his thorough research.

And, guess what? It was a blockbuster success.

The best way to uncover a big promise like this is to take all the research you’ve done this week and put it together. Find out what details about your product would best grab the attention of your prospects.

Perhaps the benefits match their deepest fears, frustrations, or desires. Or an element of the creation process is shocking and interesting. Use those details to brainstorm the punchiest promise you can make.

Then make sure your promise fits in with the industry, hasn’t been done to death, and will resonate with your readers.

The key is to go big and support it throughout the entire piece with the evidence you’ve uncovered.

Just like you would want the stakes in a performance to be as high as possible, you want to strike the most impactful emotional button possible with your promise.

For your final action step this week, uncover your “big promise” for your piece. Once you do, you have all of the pieces ready to put together your first draft! The “dress rehearsal” of copywriting.

Please be sure to share your discovery in the comments section below. It’d be wonderful to see what you’ve come up with.

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Published: December 19, 2014

3 Responses to “Defining Your “Super-Objective” That Connects All the Elements of Your Writing Together”

  1. Robert, thanks for all the great advice and actionable items this week.


  2. I am the one stop supplier you are looking for, because I have the product you want. I will take this a step further to get you the best price in bulk and wholesale rates. Only to offer you free consultation for a 30 day period that will ensure your sales to climb. This offer is good until the 25th, of this month. Take advantage of this discounted rate now, and smile while you are looking up! Julie D

    Guest (Julie D)

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