It’s been a busy few days and I was struggling with what to write about in this week’s blog post. Sometimes inspiration hits me at the strangest of times; today it arrived over ice cream. After my London Marathon adventures I’m on a mission to eat whatever I feel like for a few days …

Being a copywriter, I love the tone of voice for each individual Ben & Jerry’s flavour almost as much as I love eating the ice cream itself! image credit: ben & jerry’s fanatic

Unfortunately, on this occasion, I wasn’t actually eating the ice cream. I was in Tesco’s shuffling around (I can’t walk properly yet) trying to make the hardest decision of the day – choosing which Ben & Jerry’s flavour ice cream to take home: Cookie Dough or Caramel Chew Chew?

As I was inspecting the flavours and trying to make a decision, I started reading the outside of the tubs. Like Innocent, Ben & Jerry’s has a very distinctive tone of voice, as well as very distinct flavours.

The tone of voice for each individual flavour fits perfectly with everything else Ben & Jerry’s does. If you want to see what I mean, check out some of the flavour descriptions of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream on its website.

Of course, when it comes to tone of voice and brand guidelines, you do have to be careful. I’ve seen the brand and tone of voice guidelines for several large corporate organisations and they can make War and Peace look like a short story. Don’t get carried away by being too prescriptive!

Talking about brand guidelines, I love these brand guidelines for Santa. The *Santa* Brand Book injects just the right amount of humour and overthinking. For example, in the ‘Why *Santa*?’ section, the introductory asterisk “reminds customers of a snowflake alighting on the eyelash of a fawn,” while the closing asterisk “points customers to the polar star and hence the birth of dreams.” It really is worth a read and as a bonus, it’s not too long either!

But what about other sources of inspiration?

Let’s take a look at one of my favourite websites: ThinkGeek. Before you start writing your copy, you need to know and understand your target audience. This is something that ThinkGeek does brilliantly.

Each and every product description tells a story so well that you can picture yourself wearing the product. Check out the product description for this pair of spy glasses. There’s no boring product description here (like the ones you might find on other online retailers), instead they use vivid imagery to tell the story and make you feel like you are actually a spy and your life might be in danger!

What ThinkGeek also does well is that the headlines, images and captions also sit perfectly with the story they are telling for that particular product. The story runs through every element on that page.

Do you remember Old Spice’s ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ campaign?

Even if you wouldn’t buy or wear Old Spice, the campaign became an immediate hit because the scripts are so well written and the style was so distinctive.

So how long do you think it actually took to write the scripts? Months, weeks, days or hours? Actually it took minutes! Now, that’s some impressive copywriting!

As part of the campaign, Old Spice and Isaiah Mustafa, the actor in the commercials, sent a personalised video message to people on Twitter who’d tweeted them. Each video message was written and filmed within minutes of being asked.

Check out the video below and admire how awesome the script writing is:

If you need to write a concise script for a video, use this as your inspiration!

In the meantime, I think there’s a tub of Ben & Jerry’s Milk & Cookies with my name on it. Oh wait! Perhaps I should have Chocolate Therapy …