A Copywriting Idea from 1928

I love studying the history of marketing, advertising and copywriting and always keep my marketing radar on for smart marketing ideas I can use and share with you. If you simply maintain a constant mode of searching around you for marketing ideas you can use in your business, there’s a high probability you can leverage the brains and creativity of others.

I am not talking about plagiarism or theft. I am talking sparking inspiration and putting your own twist on what other smart people are doing.

A search through my blog shows example after example of ideas I’ve come across and shared with the hope of inspiring you, and in this article I am going way back to 1928 for a possible copywriting idea you might be able to use.



It comes from Little Blue Book #863 published by the Haldeman-Julius Publishing Company in 1928. E. Haldeman-Julius was the creator of the Little Blue Books, a collection of some 2,000 titles aimed at consumers. All the books had a blue cover and measured 3 1/2 x 5 inches. The titles of the Little Blue Books were wide and varied. You can see a list of them here.

The business Haldeman-Julius built around them is worthy of the marketing student, and you can get a copy of the book, he published, The First Hundred Million, which describes how he built his business.

Back to Little Blue Book #863.

What caught my eye was the use of the noun “bunk,” which is an early 20th century abbreviation of the word “bunkum” which means nonsense.

Given the fact this is not a word you often hear and it’s pithy punch and meaning, I think a bunch of readers can use this word in their next copywriting headline, report, email, etc.

Is there consumer belief and nonsensical ideas around what you sell?

If so, you can use this word to get attention and dispel any inaccurate thinking or beliefs.

To prove my point, I am hosting another Monday Marketing Challenge and a great little book by Jim Straw, Mustard Seeds, Shovels and Mountains, is the prize I will send to the lucky winner.


To be eligible all you need to do is use the word “bunk” in a headline around what you sell or service and leave it below. I will pick one random winner this Thursday morning and announce in an email I send that morning. You may have to do a little research for this one (click here to search the online database of Little Blue Books), but it’s bunk if you think you cannot use this word in your marketing <g>.

UPDATE: Nice job to everybody who submitted an idea for a headline.  There were a lot of good ones.  Congrats to Gary Robinette for being picked as the random winner of the book giveaway.

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 BiteSizedBooks.com.


  1. Jan Kosters on February 1, 2016 at 9:59 am

    “Booking Great Artists de-bunked” 7 mistakes YOU don’t wanna make booking an artist for your next party!

  2. Grant Miller on February 1, 2016 at 10:13 am

    If You Think It’s a Bunch Of “Bunk” That LED Red Lights Can Actually Shrink The Stubborn, Unwanted Fat Around Your Abdomen, I GUARANTEE That You’ll Lose At least 3 Inched In 3 Weeks Or It’s FREE!”

  3. Pam Schoelles on February 1, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Free-File Bunk – Its Not Free If You Pay More in Taxes Than You Need To

  4. Phil Brakefield on February 1, 2016 at 10:29 am

    How the world’s greatest mattress retailer de-bunked the myths surrounding total customer followup systems. (Sorry Mike, Jeff and Ben…there are just SOOOO many plays on “bunk” that come to mind for my buddies that sell beds!)

    • Mike Capuzzi on February 1, 2016 at 10:41 am

      Phil – glad to see you are back on your fee!

    • David Hunter on February 1, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      Mattress retailer, ay? “You can take out the BUNK in bunk beds, and finally get some sleep!”

      • Mike Capuzzi on February 1, 2016 at 2:10 pm


  5. Kresimir on February 1, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Crazy! Someone told one of my patients that chiropractic was bunk only to have them respond by…

  6. Daryl Thompson on February 1, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Almost Everything You Hear From So-Called Stock Market “Experts” Is Pure BUNK! Read on to discover the “hidden in plain sight” trading method used by the savviest, richest, most successful traders in the history of the stock market…

  7. Gary Robinette on February 1, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Let’s Clear The Bunk About Life Insurance!

  8. dave Jeffers on February 1, 2016 at 11:35 am

    The bunk of booking entertainment for your next event. I will walk you thru it.

  9. Heather Stevens on February 1, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    “Why Everything You’ve Been Told About Selling via Webinars is Pure, Grade-A Bul…Bunk.”

  10. David Hunter on February 1, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    “Think you can’t get a flood of customers into your doors because you don’t know how to market? Well that’s just BUNK!”

  11. Molly Nesham on February 1, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    “No Bunk Brewing for the Best Cup of Tea”

  12. Jim Edholm on February 1, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Did Your Benefits Broker Tell You That Only your Payroll Company Can Prepare Your 1095-C? He’s Talking Bunk!

  13. Nurlan on February 2, 2016 at 6:14 am

    The Bunk About Direct-Mail De-Bunked…How YOU Can PROFIT from snail-mail???…

  14. Larry Davis on February 2, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Happiness De-Bunked & Exposed! Discover “The 3 Great Life Illusions” creating all your stress,irritation, worry and holding your Happiness Hostage!

    The 3 Great Illusions of Happiness De-Bunked!

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