What was the greatest no-BS ad in history?

enduranceHands down, the most candid newspaper ad EVER has to be one Ernest Shackleton wrote in 1914 to recruit men for his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition.

That’s the famous excursion where the ship Endurance got frozen in an ice floe that ultimately crushed and splintered it into kindling.

The century-old photos of that are awesome. Look ’em up.

Anyway, here’s Shackleton’s recruitment ad for the trip…

“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.”

The expedition drew more than 5,000 applicants.

Not all of them came from that advertisement alone, of course. But you have to admit Ernie could write damn fine, honest, eye-catching copy.

His ad was targeted, specific, short and snappy.

It reached the crowd he wanted to reach.

It listed both the pluses and minuses of what he was pitching.

It was credible.

And it got results.

That ad demonstrates the art of effective persuasion in just 24 words — a skill worth developing, whether you’re dealing with customers, family, friends, or even your boss.

What’s nice is that it’s so simple to master just a handful of tactics, which are readily available here…


Go on. Take a peek.

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