The Hiut Denim Company makes one thing and one thing only… Jeans.
These aren’t the jeans you pick out of a cube wall in a retail store in the mall. No, these jeans are made in the small town of Cardigan, United Kingdom, where the locals have been making jeans for more than three decades. And with only 100 pairs handmade each week by the Grand Masters and at a retail cost ranging between $200-300 per pair, Hiut Denim jeans are marketed for a very specific audience – the Denim Geek.
That’s why their company philosophy is also their biggest marketing point:
“Do One Thing Well. We make jeans. That’s it. Nothing else. No distractions. Nothing to steal our focus. No kidding ourselves that we can be good at everything. No trying to conquer the whole world. We just do our best to conquer our bit of it.”
To recreate the Huit Denim Jeans ad featured above, I could think of no better Star Wars model than the Stormtrooper. Their iconic armor varies only when required for environmental or operational specialization. But the Empire (and later First Order) put a lot of effort into making sure that their troops looked uniform and precise. Too bad they didn’t focus on better protection.
When I first came across this ad for Hiut Denim Company, I was struck by the statement, Do One Thing Well. It’s so simple and direct and it applies so very perfectly to advertising and content marketing. Focus on one message, one idea, one strategy. Far too often, you see businesses churn out random pieces of content that have no connection to one other in their bid to focus on quantity, rather than quality. And while this can help SEO search rankings in the short run, it comes across to your target audience as scattered and unfocused.
By developing a dedicated content strategy, focused on a single message, you can create an effective campaign that both appeals to and connects with your audience.
If you want to do one thing well and create a content strategy that works, I can help. Just drop me a line and let’s get started.
Until next time… May the Force be with you.
When it comes to writing copy that connects with the audience, few have done it better than David Ogilvy. Known as the ‘Father of Advertising’, Ogilvy built his business on two core principles:
‘The Loudest Noise’ Rolls-Royce campaign is a perfect example of this belief. The longest-running and most successful campaign of its time, the ad helped the luxury car company increase its sales by 50% the year following launch. The headline has been lauded as one of the greatest ever written. All luxury vehicles of the time were advertising the same features: speed, comfort and dependability. However, Ogilvy focused on something that no one else considered but what most consumers at the time wanted… peace and quiet. And he didn’t just come right out and say it. He talked about the noise of the electric clock, not the sound of the engine.
When creating my parody ad, I knew the vehicle that most closely resembled an automobile in the original Star Wars trilogy was Luke Skywalker’s X-34 Landspeeder. The two-seater offered limited amenities but provided Luke and his companions a fast and dependable form of transportation in a hostile and unforgiving environment. However, being able to hear the haunting war cry of Tusken Raiders or the frightening roar of the Krayt Dragon is a huge benefit for survival. And of course, one of the noisiest things in the Star Wars universe has always been the beloved protocol droid, C-3PO.
While the fundamental goal of copywriting will always be to sell something, the method to accomplish this varies based on the product, service and audience. Knowing the audience and trusting their intelligence will help you write copy that connects with them. However, another important thing is to help you stand out. Finding a feature or benefit that is unique to your product or service, whether it’s exclusive or you just happen to be the first to promote it, will help distinguish you from your competitors.
Until next time… May the Force be with you…
Released in May 2011, Cards Against Humanity is a ‘fill-in-the-blank’ party game for adults with responses that can be viewed as offensive, risqué or politically incorrect. The original game was financed through a Kickstarter campaign and was influenced by the popular Apples to Apples card game. One month after release, it became the number one selling game on Amazon.
The below image is an older screenshot from the Cards Against Humanity online store featuring the main game.
Known for their peculiar irrelevance and wit, the makers of the game go out of the way to make social statements about the worst parts of human nature. For example, for their Black Friday sale in 2014, they removed everything from their online store and replaced it with a single item: “Bullshit.”
Customers purchased over 30,000 boxes of sterilized bull feces at a cost of $6 per box.
For Cards Against the Empire, I opted to turn the attention against the original trilogy’s Imperial Regime and Emperor Palpatine.
When you’re creating copy, it’s important to stay in tune with the company’s brand, while providing an accurate account of what the customer is getting in return for their hard-earned money. Remember, customers buy solutions, not products or services. They’re looking for something that will solve a problem, make life easier or to create a better version of themselves.
Cards Against Humanity doesn’t simply offer its customers a game. It offers an opportunity to bond with a community of friends/family and an escape from the tedium of everyday life. Plus, it gives them a chance to voice their sense of humor and/or frustrations in the form of ridiculous answers to seemingly innocent fill-in-the-blank statements.
As a copywriter and content creator, it’s my job to do the same with the words I type – to encourage the customer to imagine the possibilities of using your products or services to do more, to get more and ultimately, to be more.
Until next time… May the Force be with you.
Originally commissioned by the Westinghouse Company in 1942, the iconic “We Can Do It!” poster was painted by artist J. Howard Miller. The poster, part of a series created to boost the morale of the company’s female employees during World War II, was only displayed at company locations in the Midwest for two weeks before disappearing for around 40 years. Rediscovered in the early 1980s, the poster was nicknamed “Rosie the Riveter” and used to promote feminism, self-empowerment and other important issues.
When I created my “Phasma the Riveter” parody ad, I decided to flip the script on the original image’s message. While the Captain Phasma character gave us a woman of strength and authority in the new Star Wars trilogy, she’s still a villain. So I figured she’d be more likely to command, rather than lead. Because of this, I switched the message from we can do this to you can do this. It feels more authentic for her character.
As a copywriter, you not only have to create an engaging message, but you have to deliver it in the voice of the client. Plus, no matter how beautiful or awesome an image is, without the words to go with it, it’s just a picture. It’s the copy/content that makes it an ad.
Until next time… May the Force be with you
Recently, I began to toy around (pun intended) with the idea of using my vintage and modern Star Wars toys to promote my brand. As part of that effort, I’m creating single panel images to create stories in support certain days of the year like New Year’s, Labor Day, Christmas and of course, today…
May 21, Meditation Day.
Using a newly acquired tripod, some river stones from our garden and a few volunteers from my Black Series collection, I sought to capture a picture that would tell a story in single shot. I can report that the mission was a success.
Next, using my rudimentary photo-editing skills (yes, I still use Microsoft Paint), I minimized and cropped the image to an appropriate size (1080 x 1350 pixels) before adding the content that would turn my image from a work of art to a digital marketing masterpiece. At the top of the image: a witty exchange between the two First Order Stormtroopers. At the bottom: NATIONAL MEDITATION DAY, the date (May 21, 2019) and my website.
I opened a new account on Twitter and my wife opened my new Instagram account. Combined with Facebook and LinkedIn, I was ready to begin my quest for complete and total control of social media. With everything ready, I went to bed, content that I was prepared for the new social media blitz I was about to unleash on an unsuspecting world.
But before I closed my eyes, there was this tiny nagging question in the back of my head: Did I double-check the date?
I pulled up the Google app on my phone, I typed in the words Meditation Day and hit search. To my utter and complete shock, the results presented to me were in direct conflict to the content added to my newly-created image.
You see, the problem is that there are TWO Meditation Days. May 21 is WORLD Meditation Day, while NATIONAL Meditation Day is May 31. I had the wrong day.
So this morning, I woke up extra early and added the content to the image all over again, this time titling it correctly: WORLD MEDITATION DAY.
This is the kind of mistake that can hurt the reputation for a business, especially if you’re a copywriter. We’re expected to know stuff, whether it’s spelling or grammar, the art of persuasion or fact-checking. But my near-mistake actually highlights one of the many benefits of working with a copywriter. We’re not satisfied with first drafts. We double-check our facts and sources. And we make sure our content is perfect before we release it into the world.
Don’t you wish you had that kind of faith in your own content? You can. All you have to do is contact me. I’m always ready to geek out over your business.
And speaking of May 21… 39 years ago today, Star Wars, Episode IV: The Empire Strikes Back was released in theatres around the world. It is considered by many as the best film of the Star Wars franchise and one of the best science fiction movies ever made.
Until the next time… May the Force be with you…