After scoring five top 5 singles on the charts, selling a sizzling 8 million records and winning a Grammy, the gig was suddenly up for Rob Pilatus and Fabian Morvan.
In a scene straight of a Scooby Doo episode, Charles Shaw- sans chiseled abs and mega braids- had just unmasked the supermodels of 90's pop rock in front of millions….
…making the shocking claim that it was his voice behind the chart busting hits “Girl You Know It’s True”, “Baby, Don’t Forget My Number” and the stupidly catchy sing along “Blame It On The Rain”.
German dance music producer Frank Farian tearfully confessed his role in the fiasco, and in a matter of days the lip synching duo were unceremoniously stripped of their Grammy award.
As it turns out, Frank Farian had originally envisioned a team of singers fronting the dance band. But with "faces for radio" in the image conscious MTV age, he fired the singers and pushed dancers Rob & Fabian to the front of the stage...
...and gave birth to the biggest fraud in music history.
Meanwhile, best new artist nominee Ton Loc, whose rash of hit singles nearly won him the Grammy, was ready to ‘Funky Cold Medina’ anyone who even mentioned the name Milli Vanilli in his presence.
The stylists were fired. The keys for the Ferrari were seized and the fake plastic dream was dead.
Fast forward 26 years later, and you might be surprised to learn that the sugar coated artifice is being laid on even thicker by entertainers.
With saccharine pop stars like Ashlee Simpson getting away with vocal butchery…
…and autotune affondicios like Max Martin behind the control board of more hit songs than the Beatles
...“fake it till you make it” is the fastest way to the top of the charts.
No accusations of “scumbucketry” from 9 year old fans.
No backlash and no class-action lawsuits.
So what's changed?
Robert Cialdini might say the it’s the consistent use of fakery across the music business that makes audiences willing participants in their own self deception.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE?
Is hiring a copywriter to find the “voice” for your company just another version of lip synching that will bite you in the ass somewhere down the road?
Will sales waver if the "words don't match the music"?
The answer: it depends. Just like the music industry today, it’s a question of consistency.
Yet this is where many companies who are launching products go wrong.
By hiring a different copywriter- each with his or her own distinct style or brand of copy- for each of the different marketing assets in their funnel...
...they run the real risk of exposing their audience to messages that are tone deaf and off-tune.
Disharmony that can only grate on your prospect's ears and send them running to the competition.
Especially if you run into a writer who's faked his way into your project and can't write his way out of an abandoned Tower Records store.
In short, THEY MILLI VANILLI THEMSELVES.
For example, it’s not uncommon to see a company hire one copywriter for emails, another to write the sales letter, yet another to craft a lead magnet and still one more to craft the landing page or web copy.
This is often the case for companies who are in a time crunch and want to launch quickly.
The clock starts and every writer delivers their work at approximately the same time.
You need deep pockets to hire the very best copywriters to make it work. And someone with schedule super glue to coordinate the effort.
Here's the thing: copywriters are extremely busy, so the odds are pretty much stacked against you herding all of them in service of your project at the same time.
So what’s the remedy? How can you get consistency and quality and still launch your product/service on time?
The answer: HIRE THE ONE SINGLE BEST WRITER YOU CAN AFFORD. and hand over the writing reins for your entire funnel.
Of course, you’ll want to be VERY selective about who you chose to take on this task- and give him or her plenty of time to get to know you, your brand personality and the way you want to speak with your audience.
All that's left is to set project milestones (and sprinkle in built-in incentives) to keep your project on track and on voice.
Get this right, and you'll dramatically increase your chances of claiming a chart topping, record breaking sales streak that lasts for years.
Get it wrong and you may run the risk of becoming a has-been in the bargain bin of product history.
IF YOU ARE A COPYWRITER and want another tool to persuade launch-ready clients to work exclusively with you, feel free to borrow the Milli Vanilli metaphor above (or not).
LETS TALK. What's been your experience been hiring multiple copywriters vs. a single copywriter for your launches? Share your comments below.