Swig, Shit, Style, Shave, & Skimm
We've talked a lot about not writing off the written word. We stress the importance of copywriting in any business and the best copywriting has personality. Here are a few of my favorite brands who are proving that the right choice of copy and a strong point of view will get you noticed. And, it doesn't hurt if you make the people laugh.
Selections range from hyped up energy drinks to proper pooping, nasty gals, a good shave, and succinct satirical news.
1. Red Bull
Red Bull is proving that even the smallest bit of copy can be full of personality and very punny. This image has the brilliant caption of:
“Son, rise. #HippieJump for @arthur_longo #snowboard”
If you’re not familiar with the term Hippie Jump, you're probably not the target customer, and Red Bull is clearly ok with that. That's great copywriting. Know thy audience is one of the first commandments of copywriting. Connect with them on a level that makes sense and don't over explain. Great brands don't have to appeal to everyone.
2. The Squatty Potty
These guys give a crap about content marketing. They weave clever and downright hysterical copy into key content channels, while still educating with compelling science in others. Squatty Potty's content focuses on educational efforts around the notion of better health through proper posture when you're on the potty. They mix fairly complex scientific proof with poop humor in a way that makes sense and is totally approachable, without ever falling into the gutter.
Infographics and videos like these show that brands can have drastic diversity in content and messaging. Their entire approach to leading with health benefits stemmed from a rejection by ABC’s “Shark Tank” in Season 5. “Shark Tank” didn’t want a bathroom product on their show.
Squatty Potty reframed their pitch and never wasted the opportunity to eliminate any doubt that they were #1 in getting right with #2.
3. Nasty Gal
#GIRLBOSS #attitude #greatcopy
Nasty Gal is the rebellious, tatted up brainchild of Sophia Amoruso that started as a vintage eBay store and grew into a multi-million dollar powerhouse full of girl power. The heart of this brand is attitude, and that is perfectly demonstrated in every single aspect of their copywriting. The copy seems to draw from influences in hip-hop and punk rock, with a hint of porn.
“IF YOU GOT IT, FLAUNT IT. IT'S TIME TO GET WET AND WILD IN SCORCHING ONE-PIECES AND BARELY-THERE BIKINIS.”
The site is extensive, yet they never miss a linguistic beat. They infuse every page, customer interaction, and tweet with consistent and engaging sass. Many of the products descriptions keep you reading more because who doesn't secretly fantasize about wearing a "Cold Hearted Snake Bodycon" or a “Stuns n’ Roses Bustier Dress."
Recently Amoruso published a book entitled “#GIRLBOSS”. In it, she dishes on the secrets of the company’s success, notably in social media: “Social media is built on sharing, and Nasty Gal was giving girls something amazing to share each and every day. Whether it was a crazy vintage piece, a quote, or a behind-the-scenes photo, we have always worked hard to create the best and most compelling images, copywriting, and content for our customers.”
4. Dollar Shave Club
"Our Blades are F***ing Great!"
This Dollar Shave Club video has garnered over 2M views. Along with great copywriting on the site and social media, these guys prove that great copy is the basis for great content. Period.
Why do you think they have over 2M views? It's not because this is a highly produced Michael Bay flick, but rather a super solid example of funny, snappy copy. The copy in this video was written to educate, persuade, and entertain and by the end of it (yes, you will watch it all) you are invested in not only the company, but also the people behind it and the soul of the brand.
Dollar Shave Club proves that they have great f***ing copywriting in all aspects of the brand. If you create video content, this proves that aside from production value and talent, copy is the most important aspect.
5. The Skimm
I was thrilled to stumble on the Skimm because now every morning I get a quick laugh while they trick me into learning about current events. The Skimm covers everything from presidential hopefuls to climate change to Kardashian babies, and ISIS. And no, Isis is not the name of Kimye's new tot.
The Skimm wins for their use of simple language and clever headlines to break down the day's news. The mix of satire and succinct recaps makes this an email I look forward to. They are also super consistent; the format never changes, which makes it easy to digest and predictable so I can focus on the great copywriting and content.
It works because it's just enough entertainment with abbreviated concepts. They use pop culture, sass, and sarcasm to broach topics. They give you just enough information to be informed and conversational. So, sign up and get ready to spit your knowledgeable news game at holiday parties this season.
This is just a few of our favorites who consistently elevate copywriting to new heights, and it's paying off. Because of their efforts we now have enough energy to poop properly, while being stylish, hairless, and au courant.
Bravo copywriters, bravo.