Re-reading Fan’s rowing blog I’ve come to reflect on another kind of watersport, prompted by the eight-months-out-of-date peanut butter Clif Bar sitting on my desk. It is the only edible remnant from our family holiday last August which involved canoeing down the Green River in Utah.
Taking any excuse to put my paddle down and let younger, more sinewy youths take the strain, while I could admire the stunning canyons towering around us, I enjoyed several of these bars. Each had a small paragraph on the back of the packaging. This one is all about European bike trips: ‘we seek out the serenity and quiet of remote alpine valleys with views of massive rock faces and glaciers at every turn…we carried our bikes on our shoulders over high mountain and slid down vast glaciers alongside our bicycles’. Then the last line links this outdoor idyll to the company ethos: ‘it is the winding road not the destination that drives Clif Bar. It is a simpler, more rewarding style of riding and doing business.’
For a moment I fantasise about working for the manufacturer of a peanut butter bar that can be as idyllic as a two week holiday in paradise. But as a marketing ploy, when confronted with the same bar several months later in a UK supermarket, I’m that bit more likely to buy that brand when I recall enjoying a very short story as opposed to some forgettable, predictable copy flogging the virtues of the product.
This is good copywriting but it is also a little bit of the essence of good content marketing.
On the beautiful Green River it also provided a perfect anecdote to bore my family with for the next twenty minutes explaining the apparently unexplainable thing that we do when writing business advice for our clients at Atom – using this humble wrapper to illustrate my point and, of course, still not paddling….
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