How To Outsmart Your Competition When You’re Being Outspent Twenty-To-One.

Mylk Copy How To Advertise A T-shirt

It’s 2007. Steve Job unveils his newest technological marvel, the iPhone. Tumblr—the microblogging website—goes live. And the Aussie’s win the Cricket World Cup. What a year.

Yet all of that pales in comparison to a particular day in October of that year. One afternoon, a friend of mine invited me to a one-hour boxing class. I answered, “Sure, why not? Can’t be that hard … it’s just hitting a punching bag.” So off we went.

My first impression of the gym—if you could call it that—was nothing admirable. Four walls. Punching bags that were beaten to hell and back. Mitts and gloves galore. An analogue timer that wailed every three minutes. And a foul sweaty stench that violated my nostrils.

But there was one thing that caught my eye amongst this squalor. It was a towering poster pinned to the wall.

Pictured was the ‘Louisville Lip’ … ‘The Greatest’ … Muhammad Ali (aka The Greatest) dressed in his all-white fighter’s outfit. Everything the champ wore was emblazoned with one word: Everlast.

And under The Greatest was a slogan. A chill ran down my spine as I uttered the words to myself …  Nothing soft comes out of the Bronx.

After that first session, I returned for another. Then another. Then another. Soon enough, I was a regular. I never got tired of that gym.

But whenever I did get fatigued during a session, I remember gazing at that poster … trying to channel Ali’s unrelenting energy and thoroughbred stamina. Every time it gave me a jolt of motivation to keep going. After all, I didn’t want to be soft in the fighter’s gym, right?

Fast forward to early 2021.

While flicking through some scrapbooks of ads—yes, I archive old print adverts like a true copywriting geek—I came across a classic piece of copy. A print ad for Everlast. It’s written by famed New York ad man, Gary Goldsmith.

Back then, Everlast was in dire straits. Gary was tasked with saving the company. No easy feat.

To make matters worse, when it came to print advertising, Everlast was being outspent twenty-to-one by other fashion brands. When cash was tight, Everlast had to rely on cutting-edge creative to slice through the noise.

How to come up with a creative solution.

When you’re battling industry titans like Ralph Lauren and Perry Ellis on a shoe-string budget, direct messages or discount offers don’t work. Gary knew this. Armed with this knowledge, he came up with the idea to reposition the brand — focusing on the idea of Everlast vs. the rest.

Then, with a stroke of creative genius, he traded off the scratch-and-sniff idea. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Everlast Ads By Gary Goldsmith Mylk Copy Melbourne

A gritty black and white photo with a wrinkled, sweat-stained, dirty t-shirt on a cold concrete floor. It’s honest. And it’s a stark contrast to the glossy, picture-perfect ads churned out by Ralph Lauren and his high fashion cronies.

In short, industry disruption at its finest.

But the image isn’t even the best part. It’s that one glorious line of copy that punches through:

This is not one of those scented ads. Good thing.

The ad sells nothing and promises even less. Yet the one-two punch combo of the bold imagery and powerful copy is hyper-effective. You react. You smile as you read it. You might even start asking questions like what is this? … who is this brand? I wonder what it smells like?

How to come up with a creative solution.

That line of copy still ignites my memories all these years later. I was instantly transported back to 2007 when I read the copy. Back to where it all began. Back to the gym and that foul stench (which, oddly enough, gave the place more character after a while).

That’s the power persuasive copy wields. And that’s the result, in plain black and white, when creative outsmarts the competition if you can’t outspend them.

So if you’re looking to smarten up your web or print advertising copy, make the intelligent move and click here.

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