What Children's Literature Can Teach Copywriters
What can writers learn from children's books? Turns out, a lot.
We are all sick of marketing. We're sick of being told what we want, being told something is better than it is, being told this is the best price it will ever be. Let's face it: we're living life on screens these days, and the overwhelm of advertising is... exhausting. And I'm literally a professional marketer. SO. If I feel sick of it, I'm pretty sure everyone else does too.
A few months ago, the Hire a Writer Slack channel got... weird... as it does from time to time... and we started asking ourselves, "what if we did the opposite of marketing?" It's not a completely new idea (although I think we coined the phrase - or maybe Alex did).
Stuff like that. So, as we thought about it more and more we realized: this is therapeutic. Too many marketers take themselves and their success so seriously. People want authenticity. And so, it made us laugh. And so we made more of it. And now we have a book.
Here are some excerpts (the workbook is interactive - comes with scissors, watercolor paints, colored pencils and glue - and it isn't for sale). LOL
It's been a tough few years for marketers. Relentless messages, demanding production cycles, and having to deliver measurable results.
"Sure, I can edit that."
"No, I wasn't sleeping."
That stops here.
This is our way to vent.
Negamarketing isn't a brand-new concept (although we think we may have coined the phrase). While this workbook is all about channeling your inner darkness and deepest hankering for ridiculous nonsense, the tactic is actually something you can use in real life as a professional marketer. Here's how:
Can this backfire?
But, you know, we don't care. It's not our careers on the line.
(See what we did there?)
The French word for 'croissant' is 'croissant'.
On some Mondays, dolphins have been seen swimming in the sea.
Antarctica is the continent with the least ice cream.
Phones can ring louder than a possum can sneeze.
A decathlon is made up of 10 events.
Beethoven never had a high score in Pac-Man.
There are more than 526 rasberries in Berlin.
Here's a writing activity: "Think Negative Mad-Libs"
One day, _______ realized they were out of _________, so they went to the store and found the _______iest _______ they could find. Taking it home, they found out right away it was actually _______ and ________ed their _______. They decided from now on the would only ________ with _______. Problem solved.
"Bait and Switch"
a.k.a. The table you made
a.k.a. The features you made up
a.k.a. Everyone in our industry pretending subscriptions are a good deal for the consumer.
Not shown here are awful tagline exercises, bad online reviews, facts that are a major bummer, and reasons "people basically suck" (included in the book. One thing that is worth mentioning (and is an actual, useful marketing tactic), is negative value propositions. For example:
You've had worse.
Almost no one cares.
In the book, we pair with this a writing exercise: "It's Good Enough: A Haiku"
It's okay, I think.
It barely even burns now.
I'm probably fine.
Write your own:
5 syllables: __________________
7 syllables: __________________
5 syllables: __________________
We delivered this as a coloring page.
Because it's ours. You probably wouldn't like it anyway.
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