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  • 🧑‍🔬 How Magic Spoon Created A Villain For Persuasive Storytelling

🧑‍🔬 How Magic Spoon Created A Villain For Persuasive Storytelling

An unconscious bias for convincing ads

Magic Spoon is a high-protein, gluten-free cereal brand that has raised over $100M and reached more than 1 million customers in three years.

Their ads are a masterclass in creating a villain out of a beloved-product.

They do it with The Contrast Effect.

Here’s what I mean:

🧪 The Contrast Effect

The Contrast Effect is an unconscious cognitive bias that occurs when two things are judged in comparison to one another, instead of being assessed separately, distorting our perception.

🤳 How Magic Spoon Uses The Contrast Effect

Magic Spoons’ ads use the Contrast Effect beautifully, comparing their cereal to regular cereal.

Instead of just listing the negative aspects of regular cereal, they show how Magic Spoon is different.

This makes you judge the two products side-by-side, rather than independently.

And Magic Spoon wins in a landslide.

By contrasting Magic Spoon to regular cereal, they paint regular cereal as a villain:

They bring to your attention the underlying negative effects of regular cereal.

They make you aware that there’s a better, healthier alternative.

And ultimately, make you doubt your choice of eating it.

Rather than just another product, the Contrast Effect presents Magic Spoon as the hero here to save you from all the awful things regular cereal causes.

That’s the beauty of the Contrast Effect.

🧠 How You Can Use The Contrast Effect

The key to the Contrast Effect is, of course, comparison.

It’s all in how you frame your product vs the alternative.

And it’s best used for a Problem Unaware audience.


Because you’re showing them that a better alternative exists.

They don’t yet know that their current product is a problem.

So how do you introduce your product?

Here are some examples:

  1. Us vs Them ads

  2. Counter-narrative or counter-intuitive storytelling

  3. Founder Story ads (explain why you created the product)

  4. Statistic-based ads (is there some data to show the negative effects of your competitor)

It’s different from simply listing the negative aspects of your competitors.

You have to embed the Contrast Effect into your storytelling.

You want to make your prospect think:

“have I been doing it wrong this whole time?”

Here are some hooks using the Contrast Effect to get you started:

  • "Did you know [not talked about negative aspect of alternative]?”

  • "Think all [category] are the same? Think again.”

  • "Bogged down by [negative aspect of alternative]? Us too. That’s why we made [your product].”

  • “Most people think [common thought about alternative]. But did you know [little unknown negative trait about alternative]?”

  • “You may not know [alternative] is making you feel [negative trait]? That’s why we created [your product].”

So, how can you use this unconscious bias to tell more persuasive stories about your brand?

How will you use the Contrast Effect in your ads?

Let me know how it goes!

Until next time,


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