Spin a Yarn
To Tell Stories, You Need Customers’ Real Stories
A few years back, Lands’ End ran an ad with the headline “The day we found a monster in our mailroom.” The copy tells the story of a Japanese mother who’d returned a children’s parka for a refund. Someone in the shipping room found a goofy, 4-inch plastic monster in the pocket and figured the kid might miss it, so he sent it back. Next thing you know, Lands’ End gets a thank you from the mother. That goofy, little monster was her son’s favorite toy. The ad goes on to talk about other letters it has received, including one from a man who’d ordered a necktie but wasn’t sure how to tie it. Could they send instructions?
Great stories are ways to engage people and build relationships with them.
Sometimes a Simple Graphic Can Tell the Whole Story
When I worked on the Marshalls’ account, I visited the client in the Massachusetts office. We talked about ways we could run a campaign without doing a whole photo shoot of the merchandise.
Walking down the hall from the conference room, I met a Marshalls buyer who was grinning ear to ear. He told me he’d just made a huge buy of designer comforters—thousands of the highest quality, stunning comforters he’d ever seen. Truckloads were coming to the warehouse, and people in headquarters already were putting in their orders for them.
Hmmm, I thought. Truckloads. I decided to test an inexpensive postcard, and went back to the office and asked our art director to draw a lineup of trucks that said Marshalls on them. The headline read something like, “Our buyers just bought the most fabulous designer comforters and they are on their way to the Marshalls store near you. Just $29.95!”