Why The Jedi Mind Trick Never Works For Copyhacking

Of all the Jedi powers (telekinesis, levitation, telepathy, twirling a lightsaber without putting a hole in your monk robes) by far the most powerful is the Mind Trick.

On Tatooine when the stormtroopers look like they’re going to confiscate R2D2 and C-3PO from Luke’s landspeeder, Obi-Wan does that little wave and says, “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”

And they just let them go.

Imagine if he’d done that little trick to the guy piloting the Death Star. It would have been a much shorter movie.

We could argue whether the events depicted in Star Wars actually occurred in the distant past. But there’s no argument that we all more or less believe that this greatest of the powers of the Force is literally available to copywriters: Yes, the Jedi Mind Trick.

When writing our landing page copy, we believe that if we can find the right hack, we can bypass the weak will of the stormtroo–excuse me–customers and through the power of suggestion get them to do what we want.

Growthhacking bloggers are happy to supply us with long lists of “magic” words that visitors absolutely cannot resist.

This is a great idea.

Except for the fact it doesn’t work. Even if you add a GIF of Obi-Wan doing his little wave.

Bummer, huh.

But wait, there’s another semi-ficticious character who CAN show us how to turn resistant people into enthusiastic supporters. His name is Mark Antony. (If you’re thinking of the guy married to J.Lo., that was Marc Anthony.)

In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar Antony steps in front of a hostile mob to eulogize the murdered dictator.

In a few lines, beginning with “Friends, Romans, countrymen …”, he convinces the crowd that they shouldn’t be happy about Caesar’s murder because he was their friend. Moments into his speech they have a remarkable change of mind, brought about by Antony leading them through a carefully structured argument.

No magic. No consciousness hack. No little wave. Just ideas that engage and convert his audience.

So who should we be emulating when we write our inbound copy?

And who would have also done fine at the Imperial checkpoint?

Hint: His initials are M.A.

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