Welcome to another Web Wednesday!

Today’s post should more than make up for the fact that I hijacked yesterday’s Copy Tuesday post with a rant.


1. This post reveals one of the most revolutionary methods I’ve ever seen for “winning” at AdWords — and I’ve been responsible for at least $1 MILLION in AdWords spend, so I know a thing or two about it.

2. Also, this is an incredible lesson in copywriting, built for the AdWords world, but easily transferable to finding the “big idea” for any ad you have to write.

First, some context…

This past weekend, our kids had set up a peach stand with the neighbor kids. And while we were all out there, I got to talking to my neighbor who runs the gong business.

We’d had a previous discussion that he was trying to find an intern to run his AdWords account. Since then, he’d found someone.

And then he did something really cool… One of the first things he did was tell his new hire to sign up for Breakthrough Marketing Secrets!

(QUESTION: Who should YOU be telling to sign up for Breakthrough Marketing Secrets because they’d get a ton of value out of it or it would help them be more effective at work or in their business? Do it today!)

Then we got to talking about how to sell gongs with AdWords, and all the different types of customers who buy gongs.

That’s when I let it leak that I’d discovered a completely revolutionary way to write AdWords ads…

It was from none other than the great Perry Marshall, the world’s most-quoted expert on Google AdWords. (Who is going to feature MY testimonial for his book in his next edition!)

It’s called his “Swiss Army Knife” Method.

I can count on just a few fingers the number of times that one single piece of instruction (a book, a program, a speech, etc.) has blown my mind when it comes to how to create advertising.

This was definitely one of those.

First, the problem Perry Marshall’s Swiss Army Knife Method solves…

There’s a quote from Dr. Glenn Livingston, a marketing expert in his own right, and both a student and colleague of Perry’s…

“Most people think they’ve tested 20 Google ads but they really just tested 2 ads 10 different times.”

Why is this relevant?

Because if you’re testing two ads against each other, and they’re essentially two versions of the same ad, they’ll get essentially the same level of clicks. Sure, tiny things can offer big boosts, but those are the exceptions.

You’re better off creating radically different ads. Because radically different ads will get radically different levels of engagement, attention, and clicks from viewers.

But the human brain is not wired to come up with a whole slew of radically different variations on its own. Left to ourselves, we come up with 10 versions each of 2 fundamental ad ideas.

You need those 20 radically different ads though, because some are going to bomb exceptionally… And some are going to get incredible click numbers.

And that’s really important, because Google rewards high click-through rates (that’s the percentage of people who see your ad that also click on it to visit your site). To the extent that if you can double your click-through rate, you can actually get visitors to your website for 1/4th the cost. The numbers aren’t quite that exact, but that’s a realistic picture of how Google’s pricing algorithms for AdWords work.

Anyway, the key to boosting clicks is by testing lots of different ads that accomplish two major objectives:

1. They stand out and feel unique.

2. They speak to the desires and frustrations of your marketplace.

And the more distinct and different ads you can test with the potential to fulfill these objectives, the more likely you are to discover a runaway winner you can use to totally dominate AdWords in your niche.

That’s why Perry created Swiss Army Knife — to systematize the process of coming up with not just 20, but THOUSANDS of unique variations on ads to sell your product.

It was built as an “AdWords” product, because Perry is the AdWords guy.

But really, it works for ANY advertising creative. Particularly when you’re working in a medium that allows for rapid testing of many different messages.

Here’s a “bird’s eye view” of Swiss Army Knife…

Like the Swiss Army Knife pocket knife, Perry’s system is full of different tools — which he calls “blades” — to help you add dimension to your AdWords ads.

There’s a blade relating to relationships, and another for emotions. A blade for types of statements, and another for levels of identity. There’s also a blade for proof, and another for offers.

All-in-all, there are 17 blades, each adding a new level and dimension to what you can put into a tiny AdWords ad.

You don’t necessarily have to use every blade in every ad, and in fact that would be very difficult. But Perry does show an example where he managed to work in 15 of the 17 blades — and the ad “cuts like a knife” if you’ll excuse the pun.

I’d be doing both you and Perry a disservice if I repeated his entire system here. You, because my coverage would be inadequate relative to what Perry offers. And Perry, because he sells this as a product and I’d be infringing on his intellectual property rights if I were to simply give everything away here.

And yet…

I’d like to give you a taste — an incredibly actionable way to come up with a TON of ad ideas, fast, using just the simplified version of Blade #1…

First, here’s a picture of the simplified version of Perry’s Blade #1:


This is all about relationships. Going clockwise around the circle, starting at the top, you see:

– Your Customer

– A thing that Your Customer Loves

– A thing that Your Customer Hates

– You (the advertiser)

– Your Customer’s Worst Enemy

– Your Customer’s Best Friend

Each node has a connection to each other node. (At least it should. I’m noticing there are a couple lines missing in this diagram.)

What that line represents is the relationship between the two items.

And so your customer has a relationship with a thing they love. And there is a relationship between the thing they love and you, the advertiser (even if you have to establish the relationship). And between their worst enemy and you. And so on.

The question is: how do you use this to create ads?

Let’s dig in with the gong business as an example…

And we’ll start to define the different nodes, using one customer as an example.

– Your Customer: Uncle or aunt buying gong for niece or nephew’s birthday

– A thing that Your Customer Loves: Jokes, revenge

– A thing that Your Customer Hates: The memories of their sibling being annoying

– You (the advertiser): Purveyor of fine engraved gongs

– Your Customer’s Worst Enemy: N/A

– Your Customer’s Best Friend: N/A

Ad example…

Gongs make annoying toys

Your sister’s kid makes noise

Engrave a gift gong – revenge!



Or, let’s say you’re trying to sell a gong to auto dealerships to ring every time a sale is made…

– Your Customer: Sales manager or owner of auto dealership

– A thing that Your Customer Loves: Making sales

– A thing that Your Customer Hates: Lazy, unmotivated sales people

– You (the advertiser): Provider of fun “reward” for making sales

– Your Customer’s Worst Enemy: A day with no sales

– Your Customer’s Best Friend: A day with lots of sales

Gongs sell more cars

Lazy salespeople sell to strike

Make it a game, break sales records


Let’s use the exact same set of nodes and see if we can come up with another very different feeling ad.

Gong Day Car Sale

Clients bang gong when they buy

You sell more cars


You can just keep going on and on and on.

And these are done quickly, and limiting myself to this simplified version of Blade #1.

The enhanced version of Blade #1 has 12 nodes… Each item relating to 11 others. Including even more powerful concepts to use, like “Your Customer’s Hero” and “Your Customer’s Victim Icon.”

And as I said, there are 17 blades in Perry’s Swiss Army Knife Method. There’s infinite opportunity to create more and more ads to test against each other.

Click here to learn more about Perry’s Swiss Army Knife Method.

It’s not a small investment, but it could create a huge breakthrough in your advertising results.

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr

Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets