This 1920s Parker Duofold pen advertisement is an example of the inverted consequences version of the consequences template, in The Fundamental Templates of Quality Ads (Goldenberg, Mazursky, & Solomon, 1999). In the consequences template, the consequences are shown respectively for executing or failing to execute the recommendation in the advertisement. The inverted consequences version of the consequences template provides negative consequences to warn against not executing the advertisement’s recommendation. For example, a vitamin advertisement that uses this template might show a normally highly energetic person being unable to get out of bed in the morning, due to the lack of vitamin supplements.
Here in this advertisement, it described a real incident where a businessman lost a $25 000 deal (huge sum of money back in the 1920s, roughly equivalent to $350 000 today) because he did not have a pen that would write: The buyer that had originally accepted the proposition and ready sign the contract, suddenly changed his mind when the businessman rushed out the room in search of a pen that would write. In the end the businessman claimed that he would never get caught again without a sure-fire pen in his pocket.
This real life story was used in the advertisement as a negative consequence to warn against not executing the recommendation provided: “While he looked for a pen that would write, the other man changed his mind, how a $25 000 deal was lost! …a Parker Duofold would have saved the day”. This advertisement is a good example of the inverted consequences version of the consequences template, which showed that not having the recommended unerring and reliable Parker Duofold in your pocket might lead to a negative consequence: losing a big business deal!
My Parker Duofold Junior in Chinese Lacquer Red c1928-1929:
Now I know I will never lose a $25 000 deal...
Goldenberg, J., Mazursky, D., & Solomon, S. (1999). The fundamental templates of quality ads. Marketing science, 18(3), 333-351.