Increase Brand Awareness with Clever Copy in the Nooks & Crannies

Hiding in the corners beneath the bold headlines, under the compelling benefit statements, and around the action-packed verbs are bountiful opportunities to inject your brand with personality. A recent trend is “nooks & crannies copy” as I’m calling it, because it often pops up in unexpected places. Here are three examples:

1. Yahoo Chat

Yahoo Chat Screenshot \

While it may be difficult to see in this picture, Yahoo has brilliantly introduced humor into their chat feature. Between the conversation above and the text box below is the status report indicating if the other person is typing a message. However, instead of a plain and boring “Apple123 is typing a message….”, yahoo has sprinkled clever anecdotes such as:

  • Apple123 really should learn to type with more than two fingers…
  • STAND BY FOR A MESSAGE FROM APPLE123
  • Apple123 is about to drop knowledge…
  • Apple123 is hammering out a wicked comeback…
  • Bate your breath, Apple123 is typing…

among a plethora of others.

While not directly selling anything, introducing conversational wit in this unexpected place allows Yahoo! to showcase their brand’s personality. It gives the user the impression that Yahoo! is a fun, easy to work with company that doesn’t take itself to seriously.

2. Verizon Wireless

Verizon Highspeed Internet Loading Icon

Located directly before a purchasing decision, this otherwise overlooked loading page has been transformed into a mini flash ad that reinforces the product’s effectiveness right before the sale. The ad shows an animated film strip loaded with a series of technological leaps. The last one, “From Dial Up…To High Speed Internet” subtly suggests “You wouldn’t live in a cave, would you? Then why on earth would you have dial up?” An effective suggestion, I would imagine.

3. You Need a Budget (YNAB)

YNAB screenshot

Jesse Mecham, the developer of YNAB, tells the story of how he and is wife needed a personal budgeting system. They developed a simple excel spreadsheet that over the years has developed into a sophisticated yet user-friendly budgeting tool. While the site has been dramatically improved on the design side, Jesse still maintains the heartfelt honesty in his conversational copy, as evidenced by the “Download Update” screen for his product. He is an accountant, and occasionally a grammatical error will pop up in his copy, but it doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to the bottom line. His conversational style is obviously effective due to the growth and endorsements of YNAB.

Related Links

Three Tips to Make Your Copy Conversational – by Mila Sidman

How to Make the Online Sales Copy for Your Website More Conversational – by Evelyn Lim

The Right Way to Write Sales Copy – by Anthony Vicenza

Build Your Own Credit Card – Captial One’s Card Lab

stuffed-mailbox.jpgWhen’s the last time you received a direct mail letter from a credit card company? If you’re like me, chances are you can’t remember the last time your mailbox contained only one.

Direct mail has traditionally been the cornerstone of credit card marketing and as we enter the era of customization, keeping up with the number of different offers means a mailbox full of direct mail letters.

Capital One is looking to change all that with their latest product – the Capital One Card Lab.

According to a Capital One press release, company spokesperson Pam Girardo commented how, “Consumers today want control and expect the ability to customize products to meet their needs. Instead of buying music albums in the store, people are compiling their own online – and rather than buying a car off the lot, people can now design and purchase the precise automobile they desire online. Capital One is pleased to empower our customers to build their own credit card online.”

The site is easy to navigate and intuitively designed. No doubt, we will still see a steady flow of promotional material in regards to this product, however at least now we can understand what we’re getting in plain English.

Related Links

Paymentnews.com

Mycardblog.com

Colloquy.com

Political Marketing: David Englin Does It Right

david-englan-letter.jpgYou may not know who David Englin is. I didn’t – until I moved into his district and received an astonishingly well written welcome letter.

Dear Andrea,

Thank you for registering to vote here in the 45th District! As your representative to the Virginia House of Delegates — the world’s oldest continuously meeting elected legislature — my goal is to provide open, responsive, energetic leadership that makes government work for you. Enclosed with this letter is a guide to some of the services my office can provide. I hope you will take a few minutes to look up my website, http://www.DavidEnglin.org, where the “Constituent Toolbox” section can connect you to a variety of state agencies and services.

While you are at my website, you can also find information about my background and legislative priorities and about my ongoing work for progress in our community and across Virginia. I believe that, whatever your background or political affiliation, we are joined together as neighbors, and I work hard to strengthen our economically and socially diverse community, to defend our community’s progressive values, and to invest in a bright and prosperous future.

It is an honor to represent you, and I hope you will always feel free to share your thoughts and ideas so we can continue down the path of progress together.

Sincerely Yours,

David Englin
Delegate – 45th District

P.S. — Also enclosed is my business card, which includes my home and cell numbers. Please don’t hesitate to call if I can be of service.  

Curious, I checked out his website and on the home page is a blog. Although he calls it “news” — it is certainly a series of short and personal posts arranged in reverse chronological order — therefore, it’s a blog.

Geoff Livingston of the Buzz Bin wrote an interesting post about the use of new media in the political arena. I highly suggest taking a peek.

This soft sell certainly made David stand out from the crowd. Always slow adopters, goverment officials are usually the last to catch on to new ways of operating. But it looks like David is pretty savvy and because of that, I like him and will most likely vote for him.

Politicians take note – we want to be treated as valued customers. You should check out Seth Godin’s take on Permission Marketing for further details.

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Andrea Morris is the Chief Idea Officer of Write Ideas Marketing and specializes in helping visionaries, entrepreneurs, consultants and small businesses use high-ROI strategies to get the right message to the right people. For more information, please visit writeideasmarketing.com