3 Ways the Magic of Dr. Seuss Can Help You Create Unforgettable Copy

3 Ways the Magic of Dr. Seuss Can Help You Create Unforgettable Copy

Reader Comments (61)

  1. “Pudding before sprouts”. Seems a bit like the movie Inception where the key message can only be installed at the lowest level in the dream encapsulated by different other dreams.

      • I had the exact same thought as I was reading this, Demian. 🙂 What a beautifully written piece, Amy. Seriously.

        It’s been years since I’ve opened a Dr. Seuss book, but I haven’t forgotten how his books drew me in. You did a fantastic job explaining just how he did it.

        And, I’d rather have roasted sprouts than pudding. But I’ve always been a bit lame. 😉

  2. Great post Amy.

    I wrote a personal development book titled “The Seussification of Life: Daily Meditations for the Movin’ & Groovin’ Soul” and had to write a Dr. Seuss-like rhyme for each chapter. It was a joy and challenge to write at the same time. Why? Because I was pushed to write verse that rhymed. The first couple of chapters were tough, but I got the hang of it.

    Here’s my attempt:

    Now, the Savvy Scribbler
    Doodles and daddles.
    She provides clients with
    all sorts of fiddle and faddle.

    The Savvy Scribbler
    Works day in and day out.
    And always gives it her best shot
    Because she wants her clients to have lots of Klout.

    Thanks for the great exercise! I’ll keep working at it.

    • What a wonderful comment, the Savvy-Writer left,
      Exhibiting such skill, and showing how deft,
      She could build a swift pace, like a marathon-jogger,
      It must be because, she reads Copyblogger!

      Thanks for the comment Amanda!

  3. I quite like sprouts. I really think someone should set up a foundation to protect them from the prejudice they’re so regularly deluged with. I think the best way with kids is actually veg before dessert – gets them disciplined, you see. Not that I have kids.

    Sorry, this was about English and not sprouts, but I got sidetracked. It is Christmas after all, and they go well with a roast dinner.

    • Sprouts are ace.

      I learned to love them after years of discipline and missed pudding because I’d left sprouts on my plate.

      I’m just not ready to inflict such torment on a reader though. They’re getting the pudding first, every time 🙂

  4. An artfully written article offering auspicious advice. I will endeavor to apply this today, not even thinking twice.

    Many thanks to you, Amy, and to the Copyblogger crew.

  5. Great article, Amy. As a blogger, I’ve come up with different terms over the years to describe ideas, concepts or programs that I’m working on. Some of these have caught on, but others are a little too awkward to fly. Here are a few examples…
    Quadraphasic Living: Dividing a day into four phases and having a sleep cycle between each one. Easy to understand technical term.
    Goalonomics: The Science of Goal Setting. Tried this as a book title. I like the name, but it didn’t test well.
    Five Minute _______: I’ve used this with great success with my business card creations such as 5 min flowchart, diet planner, and pocket organizer.
    Maybe a new one might be Five Minutes To Win it or something with a rhyme in it.
    Now I’m going to have to pull out those old Suess books and generate some new ideas.

    • I’m not surprised the 5 minute titles work so well, people do love a good time-saver!

      I like Goalonomics, reminds me of the popular book Freakonomics. Who knows, it might be a winner with other subheadings?

      Sounds like you’ve having success naming your products though so keep going!

  6. Fantastic article – it’s good to have an excuse to read more children’s books. I need to re-work my blog’s tag-line, and now you’ve really given me something to think about.

    By the way, I agree with Alex about sprouts; if you cook them right, they’re delicious. Shame they get such a bad press.

  7. These concepts are so motivating — I love the idea of applying Seuss’s tactics to my own writing! I can still remember so many of his verses by heart, and the potential to implant my writing in the minds of others in a similar fashion is a challenge I’m definitely up for. 🙂 Thanks Amy!

    • Go for it Brittany. Who knows, in 20 years time people might be going round with lines and lines of unforgettable copywriting in their heads just like a Seuss book. 🙂

  8. I really enjoyed your “Pudding before Sprouts” principle. It reminds me of one of the codes I’ve lived by: “Always eat your peas first!” When I was a child, I hated peas. But I discovered that if left them till last, they tasted even worse cold. So I adopted the practice of eating my peas first to dispense with the unpleasantness and move on to what I really enjoyed.

    As a side benefit, I love peas today!

    This comment may not apply directly to copy writing, but that’s how my mind works! Thank you for your blog!


    • Ha, thanks for sharing Rob! I love how the sprouts are getting as much attention as the writing lessons. They’re due some time in the limelight.

  9. When I read this article, it reminded me of the copywriter’s number one task. I’ll paraphrase the sentence you have in the post.

    “…gotten your audience’s attention…”

    1, 2, & 3 all gain and keep this much-needed attention and leads the audience to make the order.

    Or should I say…

    From the headly to the sub to the bodly to the rub, get them to take action and count up the sum.

    • “From the headly to the sub to the bodly to the rub, get them to take action and count up the sum.”

      Seuss couldn’t have put it better himself!

  10. Great article. I love Dr Seuss. read all his books to my three children and never got tired of them.

    This is a great idea. I just started using “Wellness-makers” in my tagline and am suddenly getting lots of followers. Don’t know if that is why, but look forward to pursuing your ideas because they will make writing such fun!

    Thanks for a great article.

    • Glad to hear of a word-tweak getting you more exposure. Creating those snappy, visual names can be tricky but sounds like it’s definitely working for you!

  11. Thanks Amy – this has to be one of my favorite articles on copywriting I’ve read in a while!

    The Broca stuff is really interesting, and I’m a huge fan of Dr. Seuss.

    Now, as a dad reading to kids, I REALLY appreciate his writing – because a lot of kids’ books are pretty cruddy (to put it nicely). Not many authors can even get close to Seuss.

    • Really pleased you enjoyed this Kasey.

      I think Seuss, in addition to his obvious skill and hard work, had a lot of respect for his audience which shines through. He’s not just cobbling something together, he’s really thinking about how kids think and what they enjoy.

      Just like a good copywriter. 🙂

  12. Amy, as a retired physician now writing novels of medical suspense, I looked at your article with different eyes–and loved it. Haven’t given a thought to Broca’s area since Neuroanatomy years and years ago, but it’s true what you say about it. And although, as a novelist, I can’t give readers either pudding or sprouts, I have learned to catch their attention with a murder or near-murder at the start of a book, before they can get bored.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

    • I discovered Broca’s areas pretty recently and loved its significance to writing. Great to hear from someone who is very familiar with it (and to know I got my facts right!)

      I would think a murder, or near murder would be a top notch way to wake someone up and get their attention!

  13. The statement: “Basically, as we become more familiar with language, our Broca area skips over what feels predictable …”

    My mind apparently does this so routinely, that when I read : “2. Birds of a feather flock conjointly …” my brain didn’t see “conjointly” and it filled it in with “together.” It was only after I was farther down the page that I caught it. There was a different word there! Doh!

    Your point is well proven!

  14. Great article! I really like how you explained the ‘pudding before sprouts’ idea, specifically the part about children smelling a moral a mile away. We adults aren’t that different; we hate movies and books that seem to ‘preach’ at us or tries to force feed us an idea.

    This approach reminds me of a Baz Luhrmann movie (Romeo+Juliet, Moulin Rouge, The Great Gastby). He dazzles you with the setting during the first act, so you’re completely drawn in, and weaves in the conflict during the second. You’re noticing the conflict, but you’re still so taken atmosphere he’s created. So then when he hits you with the climax in the third act, you’re blown away because it shakes you out of your dreamlike state. But it because you’re so invested in the characters and the world that he’s created, it resonates deeply with you, rather than isolates you.

    And in many ways, that’s what a great copywriter does; s/he creates a little world for you and gets you invested in what he is saying, so when the hook is finally thrown, you’ll catch it.

  15. Hi,

    Once again, great article. I have a folder of bookmarks named “Legendary Articles”. I might have about 150 articles on it. A good portion is from Copyblogger. 🙂

    A question: what text font do you use? Please, please, please tell me. I tried to see CSS code using a firefox plugin it got me no where. Is it a Google web font? I will use it in all my websites once I find out!


  16. To Amy:

    Broca’s area in the brain,
    And pudding before sprouts.
    Come sunshine hail or rain,
    You’ve got this copy nailed – no doubt!

    Jon and Demian set the tone,
    And most of us were awed.
    But you showed ’em that they weren’t alone,
    As the rest of us dropped our jaws.


    That was the first draft typed on my iPad mini as my 3 yr pulled at my arm. So please be merciful.

    • That really made me chuckle! With a 3 year old on your arm, I’m impressed and appreciate the perseverance in finishing it. 3 year-olds know a thing or 2 about persuasion, and getting attention!

  17. Rhymes and making up words. Um, that’s not what my company operating in the financial sector expects of me, I’m afraid 🙂

    But thanks for the inspiration anyway Amy!

  18. Great article Amy, I agree we have a lot to thank Dr Seuss for.

    Recently at a dinner party a friend proudly told me an expression ‘he always says’ – like a philosophy of his. I told him it reminded me of a very famous quote, it was on the tip of my tongue and I was sure it was from a famous classic philosopher.

    Turns out (at least according to my quick Google search) it was from Dr Seuss:

    “Those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter”

    thanks for sharing these ideas,


    • I love that quote.

      I first came across it written as graffiti on a pub bathroom wall where we used to play in my bluegrass band. I’d always see it before going on and it used to give me a boost of confidence 🙂

    • Really glad you enjoyed it. I was just talking to someone tonight who found that developing a personality for her brand meant clients came to her because they wanted to work specifically with her and were attracted to the personality (as well as her skills).

      Just like readers are attracted to Seuss’s work, rather than any other kids’ books.

    • I highly recommend that book. The way it’s laid out makes it very easy to flip through, dip in and out of, but it’s got some cracking info in there!

  19. Dr. Seuss has always inspired me in my childhood and his creative, logical style will never get old especially for content marketing and building a unique style associated with your personal brand.

  20. Thank you Amy for this awesome post.

    I’d take the powers of rhyming and rhythm somehow seriously. The reason is, I can write them with easy and yes, they can persuade a reader to continue reading… then ker-ching, success.

    And about coming up with those new words… well, when I was getting my toes into the copywriting world…I came up with ‘comfortimely’ for a taxi company ad, and my mentor said… it’s not so catchy…

    But hey, doesn’t that make any sense for a taxi company? Well, I thought it did.

    Anyway, your post just reminds me that I was on the right track…

      • Yeah, why not?

        Anyway…I just wanted to congratulate you for your dedication to every comment. This is really inspiring. I do know that it can be tough to do…but you, Amy, you are awesome!

        And I like your video clips on your AmyTV. aMoyzin stuff in theee:)

  21. Thanks for your article, Amy.

    I had never thought of doing copywriting but your article has tweaked my interest. I’m going to try it for the group I work with in order to keep the bailiff from the door. Here are a couple of practice verses:

    I’m just a budding writer
    with things yet to publish
    but pud before sprouts
    is something to relish

    A Seuss book was mine
    in the long distant past
    but the message he gave
    is one that will last.

  22. Amy, it would be nice if we all had Dr. Seuss’s ability to convey deep moral messages in a few hundred words or less. In today’s social world, end users have less attention span than ever and social networks often have character constraints. I work at Sprocket Media, and we’ve found that one of the keys to solid writing and audience reception is succinctness – not just brevity, but making sure that the content is concise, persuasive and impactful. I’d love to see this explored further in a future post! – Cindy Elhaj

  23. The world according to Dr. Seuss is a wonderful, magical world to me. I have never grown tired of his stories and much more importantly I have never seen a child who could not resist this crazy world.
    Thank you for validating the need to put pudding first then spouts. I am a retired teacher and a children’s writer. Children need to experience the magical world of make-believe. Embracing imagination and pretend as a child makes for a more well-rounded adult. I find that revisiting the world of Dr. Seuss as an adult brings out the child in me, and that is even better than Pudding!!

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