Who gives a crap

Here’s a business that’s good for the planet and whose advertising is really clever. The name of the business is Who gives a crap and they make toilet paper out of 100% Recycled fibres to save on trees, water and landfill. Simple but effective, their messages make you smile. Here are just a few of them…

Good for your bum. Great for the world.
When it comes to saving the planet, we’re on a roll.
Together, we can make every wipe count.

You can find them at whogivesacrap.org


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It’s harder than ever to promote your business using Facebook

Personally, I’ve never been a big Facebook fan (too old, not my thing, I find it too distracting). I don’t use it for my personal life because I like the phone. Mum always told me that everyone flings the ‘friend’ word around when they’re really ‘acquaintances’. And that was 30 years ago, before Facebook boy was born! And I do love that quote I read somewhere that went something like ‘‘Yeah. You’ve got 600 facebook friends but who’s gonna help you move?’’ Exactly.

Being business to business (B2B) I don’t use facebook for my marketing and I have felt like a pretty lone voice in the wilderness about this. Until recently. Research seems to be popping up to support my point of view. For example, here’s an article on my SEO guy’s website that I think is really worth reading.


Now don’t get me wrong
I’m not saying Facebook doesn’t work for anyone. I know business owners who have used Facebook to grow their business, and one of my workshop participants a few years ago said ALL her clients come from facebook. She was an interior designer. Target audience — female, 30-45? Perfect. Because it’s all about the strategy. Here are my tips for working out what you should use for your social media marketing.

1. Is your target audience using it? (if you don’t know who your target audience is, you need to get clear on that)
2. Is it your ‘thing’? (i.e. do you love it, does it sit well with your business model)
3. Do you have the time and expertise to do a good job of it? (if not, pay someone else who knows what they’re doing, or just forget about it)

Social media panic
I’m noticing a lot of social media panic in the last couple of years. Everyone seems to be running around trying to do everything. You can’t. Who’s got the time? Not small business owners for sure. Try and choose one or 2 things that work for your business and stick to it. It’s far better to do a couple of things well than a lot of things badly.


Posted in advertising, marketing, small business, social media, strategy | Tagged , ,

When nobody’s got your back

I was preparing for a brainstorming session with a new client of mine, who wanted to create a letterbox drop. Since he was a franchisee of a business that had been around for over a decade, I saw an opportunity for not having to reinvent the wheel. So I asked him, Could he contact the head franchise and ask them for some guidance, and get some samples of what had been done before and what worked well? He did. He got nothing. They were not interested in helping him at all.

That very same week, I was helping another client with their new website, writing content and sourcing appropriate product images. When our online search for photos came up with nothing suitable, I suggested they contact their main suppliers and ask them for some of their photos, because surely they’d have lots to choose from.

Despite the fact that they would be featuring their products on this site, with a link back to the manufacturer’s sites, those companies weren’t interested in helping either! I find this short-sightedness absolutely amazing. The very people who should have been supporting these businesses from behind the scenes, just couldn’t give a ratz. Somewhere along the line, they had completely lost sight of the fact that if these front-end businesses fail, they won’t have anyone left to sell their products.


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Why even negative feedback is your best friend

A friend of mine recently started work at a gym. His job title is ‘Membership Consultant’ which is really just a fancy term for ‘Salesperson’. While on the phone the other day, chatting with a prospect, he was told that she’d experienced some really full-on hard-sell from the person she’d spoken to a couple of weeks before. He took this feedback to his manager and was told ‘Oh, she’s just a trouble-maker, don’t listen to her.’ The management was just not interested in any negative feedback at all.

My mate was quite shocked because in his previous employment, he was used to taking feedback from customers and using it to help improve store layout, product offerings, signage, point of sale materials, staff training and so much more. If we can ask our clients what they think, and then give them what they want, how much more money could we be making?

As for the gym management, they obviously don’t get that this is free market research! There’s no setting up and paying mega-bucks for a questionnaire, a survey or a focus group — this is free and extremely valuable feedback from the very people they are trying to sell to. For FREEEEE!!! And I know that money is important to them because they are underpaying my friend and even making him pay for his own uniform. But that’s another story… let’s get back to the point.

In stark contrast to the example above, I was at a crash shop last week, waiting to collect my car and noticed a brochure on the counter. Its front cover read:

Did we meet our usual high standards?
Please let us know.

The brochure was produced by the RAA, who want to know whether their approved repairers are doing the right thing. And how better to find out than to ask their customers. If we look carefully at our own business, no matter how well we are doing already, perhaps there’s a question or two we could be asking our clients that would add a bit (or a lot!) both to their experience and to our bottom line.


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Ah McCain’s, you’ve done it this time

Can someone please tell me why everyone in the newish Australian McCain’s ‘monsters eat chips’ ad uses the word ‘chips’ when the packaging clearly says ‘fries’? No wonder kids these days can’t spell…


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When’s the best time to send your email or e-newsletter?

Not first thing in the morning. Because that’s the time we all log on and go through our inbox, sift through all our emails and try to get rid of as many as possible to see what’s left that we absolutely have to deal with before we can start our ‘proper’ work for the day. I reckon the best time to send it is about an hour or so after that big influx. It’s highly likely to arrive on its own and will have much more chance of getting read. That’s if you get the subject right.

Getting the subject of your email right is critical!
It’s the headline. Like an ad in the paper, if you don’t get the headline right, you might as well not bother — your email is not going to be read. I can’t believe the number of emails I get that have NOTHING in the subject matter. Or something that’s vague, or misspelt. You’ve really got no chance.

Get the name of the sender right
I once missed an important email from my financial adviser despite the fact that they had a big red PRIORITY exclamation mark there. Why? Because they didn’t have the name of their business as part of the email address of the sender. I thought it was spam, so I deleted it. Luckily they rang me to follow up a couple weeks later. I advised them why I’d ignored it, and suggested they change it because I’d put money on the fact that I was not the only one chucking it in my spam file. They took it on board and said they’d change it. Good idea.

Don’t bore your reader with ‘wallpaper’
Wallpaper. That’s what I call reams and reams and reams of unbroken text. It all looks the same, like wallpaper. Groan… we all suffer from information overload these days. Don’t add to it. If you’re lucky enough to get your email opened, the LAST thing you want to do is lose your reader because you haven’t broken up your text. If you’re going to all the trouble of creating and sending emails to your database, go to a bit of extra effort and make them well-designed and interesting. And if you’re having trouble with that, please give me a call. It’s what I do.

Karen, Copy with Cream 0412 322 982


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Good graphics help sell

Taxi 132211Contrary to popular belief, graphic design is not just about making things look pretty, it’s about adding to the message in a meaningful way. Here is a very simple but really good example of how graphics can help sell a product or service. Years ago, the jingles used to remind me of the taxi number to call, but there seem to be so many numbers lately, you can’t remember any of them — especially when you need them!

One day, I was stuck in traffic and found myself staring at the phone number on the cab in front when it occurred to me that the larger number 2s would surely make that phone number easier to remember. A couple months later I had the proof. A friend of mine went for a job interview in the city, was then driven out the other side of town with the team, and after the ‘interview’ he was left stranded at Tea Tree Plaza and told ‘just catch a bus back’. When he rang me ranting, I said call a taxi — 13 22 11. (He did. Yes, they did refund him the taxi fare. No, he didn’t take the job.)

Posted in advertising, branding, design, signage, strategy, typography, vehicles | Tagged , ,

Jeep ads a bit hit and miss

Jeep’s ad agency has been pretty busy making lots of ads for all their cars. Now, as someone who doesn’t know one Jeep from another, I don’t separate the models’ advertising, it’s all just ‘Jeep’ to me. And I really think they’re a bit hit and miss. Currently, there are three ads that seem to be getting a lot of air time…

1. The Fortune Cookies — sure, there’s an idea there, but it’s kinda middle-of-the-road for me (excuse the pun)

2. The Aircraft Carrier — I find this ad so confusing, there seem to be a helluva lot of messages in there, in fact I’m left wondering how much survived from the original script. Smells of client interference to me. Plus it looks bloody expensive. I call this lots of style, not much substance. And it’s a complete contrast to my favourite.

(Footnote: When I was looking for this aircraft carrier ad on YouTube, I could only find the extended (45 sec) version, which sort of explains why I don’t get the 30 second version — the voice-over has been cut, and I think the message has been lost. And it’s not that I’m not into aircraft carriers, I loved Top Gun! And yes, I know that it’s probably not called an aircraft carrier but you know what I mean.)

3. The Kid on the Bucket — My favourite. Simple idea, lovely casting, well executed. It makes me crack up every time I see it. Love it. All ads should be this good.

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Do people remember your business name?

Choosing a business name is so important, in fact I would go so far as saying that it could be the difference between success and failure. Here are some business names (and a tagline) I’ve noticed lately, that really stand out.

1. Sneaky Pickle — brightly coloured foodie truck with a menu that’s sneaky because it keeps changing…

2. Ugly Dog Transport — they don’t seem to have a website so I have no idea if there really is an ugly dog or the driver gets called that, but isn’t it a great name! Sure stands out from the usual ho-hum on those big trucks…

3. Danny’s Pest Control “The best bugger in town” — I had a laugh as I sat behind their ute in traffic. Nice to know he’s a killer with a sense of humour.

Whenever I introduce myself, I usually get a comment about my business name, Copy with Cream, and it is one that people tend to remember. Having to spell ‘copy’ over the phone for the rest of my working life is surely a small price to pay. If you’re starting a business, and need a good business name, give us a hoy. I’ve helped quite a few people with theirs.


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