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From the Best Friends Forum...the new ad for Bailey

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Question from Deb:

This is definitely one of our toughest cases. We've had Bailey for going on 3 years now. She fosters with me 6 months and another girl 6 months in an effort to keep her out of our shelter. Aside from her other issues, she will beat on other cats if they get "in her face." She REALLY can be a nice cat, BUT....it takes a long time to win her trust and she can be very violent until that happens. She cannot be picked up, pilled, etc without a fight. This bio from our web site, was written by her other foster mom. It really does say it all, but could you make it better?

"Discounted adoption fee.
Bailey is a sweet kitty who needs a LOT of patience.
She reacts violently when she is scared by lashing out, growling,hissing and sometimes even swatting. Bailey MUST be left alone when she gives warning signals. She has developed close loving relations with both of her foster mothers after several months of patient care. Bailey needs a patient owner who does not have children, who will give her the time and space she needs to feel secure. Bailey's new owner will need to invest several months of time & energy before seeing any response. Once you reach that point, Bailey is a true love. She sits on her foster mom's lap and "kneads." She really is a nice kitty, you just HAVE to be patient!!!"

Response from Elizabeth Doyle:

Thank you so much for writing! Let’s see what we can do for Bailey.

For starters, I have to tell you -- I don’t think you’re going to get a lot of calls about Bailey. Not unless we give this a facelift and fast!

Here’s the problem. Look at this blurb and tell me five bad things about Bailey. That’s easy, right? Her bad qualities are everywhere. “Violentâ€, “Growlingâ€, “hissingâ€, swattingâ€, “needs LOTS of patienceâ€. I could probably keep going!

Now tell me five of the nicest things about Bailey. Whew! Not so easy. I really have to search. If I keep reading ….I get to “close loving relations with her foster mothers†…that sounds good, but then it’s qualified with “after several monthsâ€. So if I keep looking for good qualities, wade past “no childrenâ€, “needs time and spaceâ€, “invest several monthsâ€, I eventually get down to “Once you reach that point, Bailey is a true love.†Hmmm. So why do we have all the bad stuff at the top, emphasized with capital letters, while all the good stuff is hard to find and at the bottom? Shouldn’t we go the other way around?

Now, the first thing we have to do is sit down and really think about Bailey. Who she is as a person. (err...cat.) Without putting any qualifiers, what are three nice things we can say about her? Just straightforward compliments with no “butsâ€.

I’m going to try that, using this blurb for my information.

One nice thing I would like to say about Bailey, reading this, is that she is a comedy figure of a cat! She isn’t one of those wimpy cats with no personality. She’s the kind of cat my ornery grandmother might like to have so that she can sic Bailey on guests who stay too long and then giggle about how they were chased away by a little lady and her cat.

I would also like to say that Bailey is somebody who loves you. Not everybody! Just you. And it feels so special to be loved by somebody who’s fussy. I mean, who wants a guy to flirt with you when you know he flirts with everybody? Isn’t it more special when you know you’re the only one? I like that about Bailey. She’s my special friend. She doesn’t like just everybody.

Another thing I like about Bailey is that I really like having my own personal space, too. I hate it when people are in my face when I’m trying to write or read or daydream. Bailey sounds like a cat who can respect that. She’s the same way! Maybe we would understand each other, this old girl and me.

Can you see how we’re now tapping into reasons that somebody might actually want her? Turning her “negatives†into “interesting personality traits – that might be right for you.â€

Also, I suspect there are more things we could have said, if we’d been focusing more on the positives when we wrote the original draft. For example …is she pretty? That would be a nice thing to say. If not, then does her fur have a nice texture when you touch it? Like lambswool or like feathers? More good things about Bailey!

But using what we’ve got …

A Blurb for Bailey:

Now, here’s a comedy figure of a cat! The character who takes this one – we’ll even give you a discount on your adoption fee! Don’t get us wrong; she’s great. But Bailey is …Bailey. And we will be having a cake the day somebody takes this funny old lady home.

Bailey loves just one person – the person who takes her home and finds over time, that they are soulmates. To that person, Bailey will be the most devoted friend they’ve ever had. She will sit in their lap and knead them. She will look in their eyes and know what they’re thinking; because she’ll be thinking it too. There’s something very special about this cat, to the person who becomes her own.

She’s going to come to love one individual. But everyone else? Oh, it’s safe to say that … she pretty much hates them! It’s true; she’s a fluffy terror. She swats, growls, hisses – you name it. Probably best not to have children within say …oh …25 miles of her. What a little monster she is! And yet …she will be your cat, once she comes to know you as a soulmate.

We know it’s a long shot, but …we really have to ask …is there a character out there who wants Bailey? Or at least to learn more?

This blurb will not appeal to everyone. But then again, we don’t want everyone to adopt Bailey. But the person who will find this appealing is someone with a lot of sense of humor, and who wants to be called a “character†and wants a “character†for a cat. And that’s probably a very good person to adopt Bailey.

Good luck! And thank you for giving us such a great cat for a demonstration challenge.
post #2 of 4
The "before" ad was really pretty comical. I mean, who on earth would think someone would read that and want to adopt that cat! But I can understand, too - these tough cookies are hard to market!
post #3 of 4
Some basic "advertising" techniques... you should always start and end with something positive. You should also make the ad personal to the reader.

I took what you wrote and reworded it a bit. I added some elements from the first ad because I think it's important to be honest, but I softened it with a lot of the good qualities you shared. Also, the "at least" line at the end sounds too desperate, which will turn people off, so I got rid of it

- - - - -

Now, here’s a comedy figure of a cat! The character who takes her gets a discount on the adoption fee! She’s a great old lady, set in her ways.

Bailey loves just one person – the person who takes her home and has the patience to find that she's your furry soulmate. If that's you, Bailey will be the most devoted friend you've ever had. She will sit in your lap and knead you. She will look in your eyes and know what you're thinking; because she’ll be thinking it too. There’s something very special about this cat, to the person she claims as her own.

She’ll come to love only one individual. But everyone else? Oh, it’s safe to say she'll pretty much hate them! It’s true; she’s quite fickle with others, but she'll give you warning signals when she's not in a good mood - swats, growls, hisses – that's the cue to give her the space she needs. Like most grumpy old ladies, you'll be best to keep children away from her. With time and space though, she will be your cat, returning the love you are poised enough to give her.

While it may take some time for her to warm up to her new owner, the payoff will be worth it. She's like a diamond... once you chip through the coal, she will be beautiful and will truly shine. Once you discover her finer qualities, Bailey is a true love.

Is there a loving soul out there who will give Bailey the times she needs?
post #4 of 4
Bailey is quite the comedian and has captured our hearts with her affectionate personality. There's nothing wimpy about this very special lady! Bailey has had a difficult past and is slow to open up, but once you earn her trust she is a passionate sweetheart who enjoys lapsitting and has lots of love to share. Bailey "kneads" an understanding owner who can be patient until she acclimates to her new environment. We at [name of rescue group] will hate to see Bailey leave our care but this princess deserves her own home where she can reign supreme for the rest of her adult years. Bailey would do best in a comfy situation where there are no other pets or young children. Please speak to one of her foster parents for hints on winning Bailey's heart.
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