Marketing Contest: Baseball, headlines and your copywriting

Given the time of year it is here in the States, I thought this article was quite appropriate.  For those of us old enough to remember, back in the 70’s Chevrolet ran what is one of the “best” car commercials of all time with its “Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet” campaign.

I found a version of the commercial here on YouTube and for many this will be trip down memory lane.



I was reminded of this commercial while watching an American Legion All-Star baseball game this past weekend at Frawley Stadium, home of the Minor League Wilmington Blue Rocks baseball team.

As I sat watching the game, I could help but scan every billboard advertisement in the outfield and as you might imagine, I should my head with the multitude of missed opportunity just about every billboard displayed.

The “best” billboards at least put a web site address, but for the most part, gave me NO REASON to visit, however there were two billboards that prompted me to write this article.

I will start with the better one of the two.

Out in left field, there was the closest thing to a “direct response marketing billboard” in the entire stadium with a big, bold question, “Want Grass Like This?” and then listed the URL to visit.

In my opinion, this was the smartest billboard in the entire stadium and at least made the attempt to make an offer and get a response, though if I oversaw the design, I would have tweaked the copy to say something like this,

Want Lush Grass Like This?  Download our tip sheet at

Sadly, if you visit that link, you will see two BIG missed opportunities:

1 – There is NO REFERENCE to where you just came from.  There should be some copy like, “Hope you enjoyed the game at Frawley Stadium where the grass is green and thick.  If you want grass like this, download our tip sheet now.”

2 – There is no attempt to capture the visitor’s name and email address, which is a BIG MISTAKE many business owners make.

Starting and maintaining a simple email list is something every business owner should do and if you are going to advertise your URL, you might as well try and build a database from the effort.

The second billboard that caught my eye was the first one was for Saint Francis Healthcare, who proudly touted “32 Minute ER Wait Time” on their billboard in right field.

I instantly noticed this and felt a twinge, but it wasn’t until my wife said to me, “What if I am bleeding, do I still have to wait 32 minutes?” that I realized the marketing and copywriting lesson which can be learned from this blatant blunder.

But rather than me share my opinion on this billboard, I want to hear from my readers.

Marketing Contest: What do you think the mistake is here with this headline and how would you improve it?

The first person who correctly identifies the copywriting mistake with this billboard and offers the best solution to fix it, will receive a copy of my Turbocharge Your Copywriting course which sold for $299.  It’s a great course and a great incentive for you to leave your comments and insights below.


Good luck!

About Mike Capuzzi

Mike is a publisher, Amazon # best-selling author, and coach for business owners, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders looking to stand out from the competition by authoring, publishing and leveraging short, helpful books. He is the author of 19 books, including two Amazon #1 Best Sellers. Learn more about his publishing opportunities at


  1. Maggie Simpson on June 29, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Yeah, that is damning with faint praise, right? How about:
    An EMERGENCY Can’t Wait. St. Francis ER: Fastest response time in Wilmington. Get our Rapid Response First Aid Tips at Ambulance-Arrives.

  2. Susie Nelson on June 29, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    I think the mistake is the headline doesn’t speak to how your product can transform your Prospect’s business. I would change it to “Who else wants to convert more prospects to customers by making these simple changes to your sales copy?”

  3. Susie Nelson on June 29, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Oops, responded to wrong thing. I would change it to: Tired of sitting in the waiting room at the ER? We guarantee our wait times for non life threatening emergencies.

  4. Grant Miller on June 29, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Your wife made an excellent observation. 32 minutes is not acceptable if you have a heart attack, gunshot wound, etc. If they are trying to promote their emergency center the headline should be more like: “The #1 Rated, FASTEST, Most Qualified ER In Town”. They could be cute and say something like: “If You’re Sick, We’ll Fix You Quick!”

  5. Steve Sipress on June 29, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    I’d need a little more information, but if I could say “Maximum 32-Minute ER Wait Time” or “Never More Than 32-Minute ER Wait Time” or “Max 32-Min ER Wait, Or It’s FREE!” that would definitely be an improvement.

  6. Susan Sparks on June 29, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    What”s missing:
    -A call to action
    -Info on where St. Francis is located.
    – other info such as phone or website
    Vague headline regarding wait time. Is 32 minutes their best record? The average? It’s not clear, and like your wife, I wonder how long I have to bleed before I’m seen. I’ve seen billboards around my area that posts the current ER wait times on a digital screen. It’s always changing, so if you drive by frequently you would continue to see a different time – keeps it interesting and keeps you looking to see.

    When minutes count: St Francis ER – lowest wait times in the Wilmington area. Call ahead for pre-check- 1-888-2Help-Me

    ( I really can’t resist – 30 minutes or your visit is free) ala Dominos

  7. Oyoma on June 29, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    I think the major mistake is no call to action, there for I would tweak the copy:

    For the shortest wait time and fast response, visit saint Francis healthcare

  8. Leroy McBride on June 29, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    The mistake is that the real wait time varies from 0 to several minutes or hours.

    I think the solution is something like restaurants have “Call Ahead Seating”

    Something like “No more 32 minutes ER wait-time with our first every “Call Ahead Emergency Seating”

  9. Kevin Francis on June 30, 2017 at 5:42 am

    Well, I assume the “32 Minute ER Wait Time” is meant to be a benefit (you’re “only” waiting 32 minutes) but the way it’s written, it doesn’t come across that way. Note that there appears to have been some thought gone into this because of the choice of 32 minutes (a specific number like that adds credibility).

    Two suggestions…
    1. A simple fix…”Under 32 Minute ER Wait Time”
    2. Guarantee the “offer” in some form…”Under 32 Minute ER Wait Time…or it’s FREE” (thanks Domino’s Pizza!). That may not be feasible or allowed but ideally boost the benefit somehow.

    Thanks Mike for an informative post!

    Kevin Francis

  10. Barbara Hales on June 30, 2017 at 7:39 am

    No location listed, wait time may be inappropriate. New sign-
    Emergency? Don’t wait! Come to Saint Francis Hospital

  11. A Smart Copywriting Tip - Mike Capuzzi on July 6, 2017 at 11:34 am

    […] You can read my original article here. […]

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