I recently found an image of an old McDonalds print advertisement from 1971 and was impressed by its approach.

The ad copy read, “You Deserve A Break Today” and was accompanied by a picture of a woman sipping on a drink from a McDonalds paper cup.

The ad really struck me. Not because it was brilliantly designed (it wasn’t), but because I was recently discussing online ad copy with a client and stressing the importance of highlighting benefits instead of just features. This advertisement really nailed the concept.

The ad wasn’t trying to sell a juicy Big Mac featuring ‘special sauce’ and pickles. Instead, it was selling relaxation – a chance for parents to put their feet up and let someone else worry about feeding their family. This is a benefit, and in my mind, a much stronger campaign angle.

After doing a bit of digging, it turns out this is one of McDonalds’ most successful campaigns to date. In fact, it was so successful that they revived the campaign in 1981 and then again in 1995 with a slight modification – the slogan was changed to “Have you had your break today?”

The bottom line is, if you focus on selling the end result of what your product or service can actually accomplish for customers, your message will resonate more effectively. Why? Because benefits tap into emotions…and feelings sell!

At JTN, we use this same approach when we write website copy and online ad copy. We focus on how a client’s offering will make their target audience’s life better, and have found that it greatly increases web conversions and click-through rates.

But focusing on benefits can sometimes be difficult for brands that are taking their first stab at it, so here’s a little tip:

A really simple way to find the core benefit in a feature is to keep asking yourself “So what?”

Our office cleaning service is available 24/7 [Feature]

So what?

You can have your office cleaned whenever it suits your business schedule

So what?

We can clean your office without disturbing the running of your business so that your employees remain as productive as possible [Benefit]

Have a look at your existing website or ad copy and see if you can transform your features into benefits. Making this simple change may just be the difference between losing out to a competitor and winning the sale.

If you need any help using this approach, just get in touch – it’s what we do at JTN every day!