In the age of visual brilliance and short-lived attention spans, sometimes we wonder if content really counts. But where would vibrant graphics or sensational social media campaigns be without dynamic copy? Nowhere! Like Batman without Robin, like brawn with no brains, hard copy is fundamental to your success.
So, how do you write content that commands attention? How do you write copy that moves a reader and compels them to action? In this three-part series, you’ll discover four practical strategies for writing fun, dynamic, and memorable content.
1. Matching the Media and the Message
L.L. Bean is an outdoor clothing and recreational equipment retailer with this brand message: the outside is in everything we make. L.L. Bean believes the more time spent outside together the better, and they design products to enhance that experience. In one of 2017’s most intriguing print campaigns, L.L. Bean brought its “Outsider” concept to life with a print ad that could only be read outdoors. The copy, if read indoors, appeared almost blank except for these words sprinkled across the page: “Just bring this outside.” Readers who complied saw the full text emerge (thanks to photochromic ink, which changes color after exposure to sunlight) to reveal a full ad looking something like this:
“Welcome to the outside
Where there are no strangers
Where days have names like beach, snow, and bluebird
Where the smell of the campfire means you’re in the right place
You don’t need a passport to come here, an invitation to play here, or a membership to belong here
Just step outside your door and you’ve arrived . . .
It doesn’t matter where you come from
Only that you come here often
Wherever you are, join us
Because on the inside, we’re all outsiders
And if it’s outside, we’re in.”
The text concluded with an L.L. Bean logo emblazoned across the bottom, and the “Outside” brand experience was one a reader could never forget!
Another memorable media and message combo was produced by Kentucky for Kentucky, the organization that unofficially promotes the state of Kentucky. This group placed a hilarious full-page ad in Oxford American with a brazen typo at the top:
“We speak you’re language.”
The accompanying copy explained: “We know. It’s ‘your’ not ‘you’re.’ We just figured that a typo would be the best way for our ad to stand out in a fine publication like Oxford American magazine. But nice catch anyway, William Faulkner.”
Oxford American, a quarterly literary magazine dedicated to featuring the best of Southern writing, was an iconic medium for this downhome message. Kentucky for Kentucky’s brand identity (irreverence and a commitment to upending traditional Kentucky stereotypes) preached volumes through this boorish grammar breach, drawing attention like a straight-up ad never would. Kentucky for Kentucky partner Whit Hiler was pleased with the result: “I think typos can be a good thing . . . It’s so perfect for that particular magazine.”
Looking for more inspiration to up your creativity quotient? Join us again soon for examples, tricks, and tips to kick your content into high gear.