March 10, 2015 A new wave of copywriting making friends

By Camilla Walker

Booking holiday accommodation

Hello, friend.

You may have noticed that anywhere reliant on effective copywriting to make people stop and take notice – billboards, web pages, tram stop advertising –– has adopted a friendlier tone.

There’s a recent trend that applies a personal approach to copywriting, putting readers at ease. It’s not all about being clever and witty anymore, it’s about speaking to people like they’re, well, people.

Copy that connects

The key to writing copy with cut through is about engaging the reader with a personal exchange that hooks them in. It’s important they don’t feel like they’re being chastised or judged. People like their copy warm, chatty and playful. They don’t even mind a gentle ribbing if it’s done in the right way. Some examples include:

  1. Booking holiday accommodation

The search function on AirBnb speaks to the user like a friend. It prompts them to type in a field asking ‘Where do you want to go?’ rather than prompters commonly used by airlines, such as ‘Destination’ and ‘Origin’.

  1. Connecting to the internet
    Google Chrome error message

Google Chrome speaks to users like a cheeky friend, particularly with this error message.

  1. Being tested for STIs
    Drama Down Under ad campaign

By speaking to men in a humorous, blokey way about their sexual health, the Drama Down Under ad campaign has achieved fantastic results, proving that using friendly copy to broach a taboo topic can work wonders to incite action.

  1. Doing your banking

Banks in general have gone above and beyond to speak to their customers like they’re mates. This clever tactic has taken the dread and inconvenience out of banking, and replaced it with a can do attitude. Commonwealth Bank does this particularly well.

Copy that cottons on

No longer is copy prescriptive and purely explanatory. Marketing copywriters have cottoned on to the fact that getting a positive response from customers is about creating a connection, and the best way to do that is to speak to them like they’re friends.

How do you like your copy?

Next time you’re on the tram, gazing up at a billboard, at the bank or receiving a web page’s error message, pay attention to the copy that makes you feel good, or has you nodding in agreement. You can bet it will be trying its best to make you feel like a friend.