We recently had a client who was setting up on an online shop for their gorgeous clothing line. The brief was to write the copy in a fun and quirky way. This isn’t the first time we’ve received such a request and I’m sure it won’t be the last, as more and more companies are realizing the benefits of talking to their customers in a more casual tone. While it does depend on the industry to some extent, the shift towards a more humane approach is undeniable. A good example is Emirates Airline who moved from the tagline ‘Keep Discovering’ to ‘Hello Tomorrow’ – as a result their copy is much more conversational and informal. So if you feel that a slightly more fun and friendly approach is the way to go, how do you create such copy? Here are just a few of the techniques we implemented when writing for our client:
For example, ‘ we’ve’ as opposed to ‘we have’ reflects a more conversational tone and can be applied across many subject + verb phrases for a more relaxed feel.
Rhythm in the copy can be used to reflect how we speak in every day life. Use hyphens (-), semi-colons (;) and exclamation points (!) as grammatical tools to interrupt flow and even surprise the reader.
Choose your words carefully
Long, complicated words won’t lend themselves in this context. Review your choice of words to ensure ‘corporate speak’ has not slipped in; remember, if your teenage son or daughter can’t understand it, then you’re probably off the mark.
A personal point of view
Instead of referring to the business in the third person, (for example: Nike is renowned for their sportswear line…) try a more personal touch using the pronoun ‘ we’ . This will create more of a bond with the reader and removes the formal feel.
Content is king
Make sure you pick out the most interesting facts or unique selling points about the organisation in question. While there’s a place for corporate info, the trick is to highlight and present in a way that excites; what is the company doing that is different to anyone else? Think innovation not information.
Check and check again
When reviewing the copy, ask yourself if you would say that particular phrase or sentence if you were describing the product or service to one of your friends – you’re looking to create that relaxed, friendly feel that only comes when talking to a good buddy.
Karen Osman is the Managing Director of Travel Ink, a company which offers content writing and translation services covering industries such as travel, tourism, and hospitality.