Copywriting is one big joke
Think of your favourite joke. Your go-to Christmas cracker classic, witty one-liner or side-splitting story.
While everyone’s probably thought of something different, every good joke has two things in common.
- There’s a bunch of vital information delivered quickly. This could cover characters, locations, actions – everything that matters. For example, a chicken, a road, and a nice walk.
- All of this information comes together to form an effective and (occasionally) hilarious punchline.
The art of good copy
I don’t want to say that all copy is a joke, but good copy does follow a similar structure.
Good copy gets the most crucial information across quickly. Anything that’s not essential to the reader’s experience wastes space, slows things down and distracts from what matters.
And it always has a purposeful ending or goal – a logical call to action that flows from the information provided previously.
But, this is what makes good copy. Similarly, it’s what makes for a good joke.
The art of great copy
There’s a reason why some jokes can have you rolling on the floor, while others barely raise a smile, and that's personality. The little touches from the person telling the joke make it hilarious and memorable. And in the same way, personality is what turns good copy into great copy.
This is where tone of voice comes into the picture.
The priority of any piece of writing should always be to get the important information across. But it’s a well-thought-out and well-managed tone of voice that adds personality.
Clever copy additions, little linguistic flourishes, and even expertly-placed punctuation can combine to drastically improve the reader’s experience. It makes copy more effective and makes a brand stand out.
Who ordered the Green Flag example?
This sits on the top of the Green Flag app page.
The most important information is in the title, telling customers that the Green Flag app is a must-download after getting a policy.
The first line of copy quickly explains exactly why the app matters.
The final line of copy adds a sprinkle of personality to make the experience interesting for the reader.
Talking of sprinkles…
And who ordered the ice cream analogy?
You don’t buy an ice-cream for the chocolate cone, double flake or sprinkles, but they make the experience a heck of a lot better.
Now go back to that joke you remembered about 400 words ago. You don’t really remember it because of the information in the build-up, or even for the punchline. You remember it because of how it made you feel.
This comes down to the way it was first told to you, the language used, its flow and timing – this is personality, and it’s what tone of voice delivers: a more interesting, memorable and effective experience for the audience.
So, yes, great copywriting can be a bit of a joke. But, it’s no laughing matter.