Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Are you selling me a scarf or a cheesy line from a romance novel?

My name is Pam and I'm a copywriter.

Ok, ok...a junior copywriter. I prefer not to mention the "junior" part. It makes me sound like a girl scout in training or something. But you have to start somewhere, right? And copywriting is what I love to do. It's my realistic dream job. (My REAL dream job would be to be the next Samantha Brown...it could happen).

And to those outside of the world of advertising, my job lets me play with words all day. I brainstorm, come up with concepts, create headlines and teasers, write body copy in ads, etc. It's a blast. And clearly it has altered my ability to write in complete sentences. After writing in the ad world all day, I tend to write conversationally. Short, choppy and easy to read.

As I've learned in my 1 and a 1/2 years in the profession, it can be very difficult to make really, really uninteresting things sound interesting...irresistible...something everyone wants. I've had to do it for everything from insurance policies and cell phones to tractors and eye-glass cutting machinery. It can seem nearly impossible, but I've learned there are always ways to make the product "pop", no matter how mundane it may seem. All you need is a little time and a lot of imagination.

So today was a slow day at work and I decided to spend some time virtual window shopping. I was perusing the Old Navy web site, looking up scarves on sale, when my eyes caught the little box of copy in the upper right hand corner of the page. Naturally, I had to read it. And this is what it said:

As soft and romantic as a lover's whisper, this gossamer light knit scarf adds enchanting texture to any ensemble.

Seriously, that's what it said. I laughed out loud. A lover's whisper? REALLY?

So of course I had to keep reading. And some of the descriptions absolutely amazed me:

Ruby slippers might have been de rigueur for Oz but neither the wily Wizard nor the Wicked Witch will stop you from easin' on down the Yellow Brick Road in style with our shiny, patent polished ballet flats.

Long on looks and short on sass, this fleece hoodie dress gives her an effortlessly stylish base on which to build her own personal fashion statement. Accessorize appropriately.

You've been waiting for these. Just so you could catch yourself in the mirror and think how cute they are on your feet, and how happy they make you. Soft, chenille, fuzzy slippers make everyone happy.

Everything from cars and computers to sodas and DVDs are getting upgrades, so why not flip-flops? Meet the Old Navy Flip-Flop 2.0. It's got the same great style and value, only with new bells-and-whistles, like improved materials and enhanced comfort.

Even in the dead of winter, your boxers will have plenty of life left in them, thanks to bright seasonal patterns and durable double-stitched cotton that keeps its shape after repeated washings.


Tehehee life in the boxers. Very sneaky, Old Navy copywriter. Have you ever heard $3 flip flops sound so jazzy? Or a pair of ballet flats sound so bewitching?

It's copy like this, though a tad cheesy, that makes me appreciate my career even more. Sure, people may laugh at a detailed description of the psychological lift you get as you wear your Old Navy slippers, but I love the fact that the writers were able to come up with that many ways to describe every article of clothing on the web site. Each one is different...it's amazing. It must be quite difficult to come up with different ways to say "comfy long-sleeve t-shirt" or "silver flats". So cheers to you, Old Navy copywriters. Your work is hilarious...and a bit inspiring, too.


Sidenote: I just finished the fourth and final book in the Twilight series. AMAZING. If you haven't read it, you need to. Now.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

Those are hilarious!

And I just read the fourth book again. I'm still unsure how I feel about it haha