The latest tabloid fear mongering campaign in the U.K comes in the form of the dreaded Monkeypox virus. Yeah, I hadn’t heard of it either until I was buying crispy beef from the Chinese and decided to pick up The Sun newspaper.
Nothing like some light biohazard reading before any delicious meal.
Now I don’t know if you know much about Pox Viruses, but take my word for it, they’re nasty.
Look up Smallpox symptoms on Google, you’ll wish you hadn’t. Horrific.
Thankfully this skin bubbling disease is ‘extinct’…..
Well in the wild it is anyway, so luckily if you’re out walking your dog, you won’t get infected from brushing past a bush which happens to have some Pox on it.
I say ‘extinct’ because no doubt, somewhere, in a crazy underground lab in the Siberian Tundra or Dustbowl of America, mad microbiologists have created a horrifying, weaponised strain of this virus.
It’ll be chilling, latent in a freezer, just waiting for some clumsy scientist to spill it.
Or some crazed, angry chimp vector will bite someone, 28 Days Later style (That film always freaked me out, I always thought the Zombie Apocalypse would be fun until they started sprinting around, vomiting blood everywhere.)
I read a book on the dangers of biological warfare and how the arms race between the U.S and Russia back in the cold war left massive stockpiles of weaponised diseases lying around in long forgotten warehouses. I didn’t sleep for a month thinking I was going to wake up choking on Anthrax. The name eludes me now but I’ll try and find it out again.
Why do tabloids focus on stuff like Ebola and Monkeypox when literally 3 people in a country of 65 million have it?
It taps into very primal fears of infection and these words are very striking and rare.
They catch the eye. Whenever I see a word like Monkeypox, I start to pay attention, because god damn it, it sounds terrifying.
I don’t want anything to do with Monkeypox.
Maybe you’re reading this right now because of the words I selected for this post.
Incorporating rare and exotic shock words can have an amazing affect on email open rates and grabbing the attention of those scrolling through the web.
But use them sparingly else they’ll lose their power.
If you’re getting the same old message, week in week out, you’ll just become accustomed or worse, bored. Into the spam folder it goes.
Tabloids are a great source of these ‘shock’ words. So, when you well and truly need eyes on your latest promotion, have a think how you can tell a story and use some of these in your copy.
P.S I’m hard at work writing the content for a new home improvement site at the minute and barely have a minute, but I’m still available to make your new promotions as infectious as Ebola in an abattoir.
Contact me through this site or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org