6 more bits of copy I wish I’d written

Written by Simon Grover
Broken pencil blog image - red
Copy from the website of insurer 'There'

1. ‘There’ is a confusingly-named personal insurance company. What’s not confusing, however, is what they call their insurance products. Most similar companies offer a kind of cover called ‘income protection’. This ‘protects your income’ in the sense that it pays you a regular amount if you can’t work because of an illness or injury. Problem is, few people outside the insurance industry would know that without it being explained. There has brilliantly renamed this product as ‘Too ill to work cover’ (but see what I mean about their confusing name). As well as having the Ronseal factor, it also sounds much friendlier, meaning I am more likely to want to find out more.

Two versions of a sign in a Premier Inn in Rotherham

2. Premier Inn in Rotherham has replaced the left-hand sign with the right-hand one. There are so many good things to mention, but for starters:
•    It talks about me – ‘to keep you sleeping safely and soundly’ instead of ‘in the interests of safety and security’
•    It uses the active voice – ‘we’ve fitted’ instead of ‘has been restricted’
•    It uses contractions – ‘don’t’ instead of ‘do not’
•    It has a heading – so I don’t have to read the whole thing

A building site hoarding in Hackney

3. This hoarding in Hackney has a sassy little treat for anyone who takes the trouble to read to the end of quite a long sentence. What’s great is that you just don’t expect this kind of copy on the side of a building site. Hackney Council is letting us know that they are the good guys, succeeding against the odds. Though interestingly, they don’t take credit on this hoarding. Perhaps their logo went the same way as the full stop.

Ad for eve mattresses

4. I’m enjoying the eve mattress campaigns, even though I’m entirely sure many people hate them – if only for the lack of capitals in ‘eve’. If they just cut a sentence or two and lowered the whimsical factor, I’d REALLY like them. But they do a fantastic job of getting you to pay attention, and making something as boring as a mattress sound aspirational.

Extract from the FT

5. Fixed annuities? Some people will know what they are, some won’t. You don’t want to patronise those in the know, or confuse those in the not-know. So stealth explanations like this one in the Financial Times are great. They inform you, but only in passing. The Economist and David Attenborough – both of whom frequently cover complex ideas – are both brilliant at these kind of explanations.

Extract of wine list from The Prae Wood Arms

6. Here’s a bit from the wine list of the Prae Wood Arms – a pub on the edge of St Albans, where I live (in St Albans, not in the pub). I love that the author clearly knows their stuff, but they’ve taken the trouble to translate their knowledge into language I understand. Plus it’s funny. As a result, I’m much more confident about making a choice that I’ll be pleased with. I might even try something more expensive than I would otherwise, just because it sounds fun. Interesting too that the wines aren’t in price order, which again encourages me to try something different.

Which is your favourite, and why? Got any other bits of copy you love? Please comment below.


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