drive, he said

2015 Challenger vertical

After having diligently marketed my intimate, soft-sell, evocative approach to lifestyle branding in jewelry, watches, and home décor, it may or may not lift an eyebrow or two to learn that I also write copy for such testosterone-forward items as Jeeps, muscle cars, and sporty automotives along the Alfa Romeo line.

And yet, it’s true.

A good copywriter has the dexterity to tackle almost any topic and inhabit the realm of your target consumer.

2014 Jeep Wrangler

Once upon a time, however, a creative director in Portland (or was he merely a content manager?) said to me: You write about fashion; you couldn’t possibly understand how to relate to high-tech products. Au contraire. There’s a lot more method acting involved in copywriting than anyone realizes. I’ve haven’t driven any of these cars, I haven’t gone mud-bogging in a Wrangler, and I haven’t worn kate spade jewelry either.

Research, imagination, empathy: along with impeccable grammar, these are an effective copywriter’s stock-in-trade. Writing words that sell isn’t about belonging to a particular demographic, as so many hiring managers wrongly assume. One needn’t be a fashionista or a tech nerd or an off-road, high-octane enthusiast in order to write believably about products that appeal to each and every specialized niche.

I expressed as much to my “friend.” But poor Briggsy, he just didn’t… get it.

Alfa Romeo full page

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holiday shopping

Another Black Friday has come and gone (so has Cyber Monday for that matter), yet the glories of e-commerce burn brightly all through our wintry season — perhaps especially in copy I devised for an e-tailer of outdoor/indoor lighting fixtures.

Devoted readers of this portfolio blog, you know the drill, don’t you?

Add just the right dash of ambience to the long, dark winter nights with these strands (and click the pictures for a closer read).
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sparkling gems

No jewelry this time. Just sharing some recent work… Click the pictures for a closer read of my scintillating copy.

A watch

Above, copy I wrote for a watch designer in Europe. Below, a pair of cushy category descriptions for an Australian retailer of fine linens and other at-home necessities.

cushions
Australian linens copy

I also collaborated with the entrepreneur of an all-organic skin care label. I re-booted existing product copy, writing new sections to emphasize the “bling” while at the same time underscoring the products’ benefits for the consumer, for the co-ops who harvest the all-natural ingredients, and for our planet, too. Several of these new descriptions are making the rounds via social media…

On Facebook

honeysuckle FB

At Tumblr

ginger cinnamon lip balm mini

Getting the signage treatment!

lip balm copy

And on the main retail site.

Nectarine

where one relaxes…

Bringing home the bling, I recently wrote creative copy for a patio furniture e-tailer. I’m pleased to showcase a few screenshots from my expanding dossier of décor bon-bons.

4-piece set

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seeing the light!

Pear Champagne chandelier

No swinging from the chandeliers allowed! Instead, savor the copy I wrote for a Seattle-based lighting & home décor company. Continue reading

“this…timeless watch”

Sea HunterThere’s something hypnotic about reading watch descriptions. Or, at the very least, there’s something hypnotic about reading my watch descriptions. A new client hired me to describe one of his designs, and so back I went… through the treasure trove of copy I wrote for that certain major online retailer, not so many years ago.

Best advice I was given back in the day? Never, ever, describe a watch as being “timeless.” (Although that doesn’t appear to have stopped Gucci!)

Reacquainting myself with the rigors inherent to writing about watches — the blending of pinpoint accuracy & dreamy sales narrative — I rediscovered any number of well-spun phrases I loved: dazzles the eye with rainbow hues of blue and rose; pineapple-textured 18k gold; display window bubbles up at the three o’clock; and uninterrupted gold flows into…a textured center that mimics the rays of the sun.

Yes, indeed, it can be poetry.

And so I’ve gathered a few samples here for our collective pleasure. Click the screenshots for a closer read. (Magnifying glass optional.)

Seiko Women's Camel Leather Watch screenshot

smartly pairs gray monochromes with luminous yellow accents Invicta Leviathan screenshot

pair with winter whites or vibrant summer colors…a ladylike quarter-moon…covering nearly a fortnightSeiko Women's Mother of Pearl screenshot

Cool shades of blue add an irresistible elan…   Continue reading

from Bali to Basha

Basha baby shoe charms

Our catalog copywriter (that’s me!) was recently hired to write descriptions for an online jewelry retailer. Click the screenshots above and below for a closer read of my evocative, ebullient copy.

JH overview

Discover even more gems: Follow the jump! Continue reading

a carnival of sultry style…

sultry Speaking of the ones that got away, here’s the never-used fantastic headline I still dream about on parched, moon-lit nights in Marfa or Sedona.

Look at her. Look at that dress.

Can’t you feel — or even see — the humidity, the heat, the torpor?

I did, and I think the art director did, too. This was for a summertime spread, images to be used with email messaging, and in picture after picture the A.D. posed models in front of amusement park rides, circus tents, locales reminiscent of small-town carnivals or county fairs, deep in the dusty tracks and country lanes of Red States USA… somewhere far, far below the Mason-Dixon.

“A Carnival of Sultry Style” seemed like a natural to me for a headline to match the above imagery. I Googled the phrase first. No one had ever used it before. And I thought — an email subject line like that, from a women’s apparel retailer, would surely inspire a runaway carousel’s worth of clicks!

The client, however, didn’t want anything “too sexy.” And so my sinfully good headline found itself on the Island of Lost Copy. We’ll never know what impact it might have had.