Tell me a story, I'll give you a quarter.

1:59 PM

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"The season is summer, not sure the month. We've been holed up in TG HQ for seven years now. The zombies have fought long and hard, but the tide is seeming to finally turn. We will survive this invasion, this walking pestilence. We will, because we were smart enough to stock up on Tac Bac - Tactical Canned Bacon. Yes, we have been surviving on bacon. That is why we are strong; that is why we'll win."








Sounds legit. I mean, who on Earth wouldn't benefit from a can of preserved meat (you know, just in case the zombie apocalypse suddenly took over)?

Seriously, though, I love fun product descriptions. Storytelling, sarcasm, and lots of made-up reasons for why you "need" something are a-okay in my book. Let's face it: people don't shop as often as they do because they need everything they're buying. Most of the time, it's fun to just browse. And when you're the person behind the copy and product photo, you might as well have a little fun reaching out to your audience. After all, tickling a funny bone or tapping into someone's psyche are both great ways to relate to people.

Here's a blurb from one of my favorite websites, Modcloth.com:

"Ready for anything and with the professional air of a top-notch exec, you're off to the headquarters of your favorite clothing website to interview for the job of your dreams! You've been informed that although you should dress sophisticated, it's cool to rock 1950s-inspired pieces like this speckled almond dress . . . Impressed by your apparent aptitude to dress appropriately no matter what the occasion, your future employer laudes your wonderful wardrobe pick."
 
 
I love browsing Modcloth because in addition to all the cute clothes and vintage items, there are, once again, those built in "reasons" that give each product another dimension. It's fun looking at a dress like this, for example, and figuring out why the garment is named "Today's the Day." As the description implies, the inspiration comes from a scenario where a young woman walks into an interview, dressed to impress. Sure, many people might like the dress right off the bat, solely from the image. It's the name and the scene that we imagine, however, that draws us into the idea of being professional, polished, and ultimately--confident people. And all we need to achieve that dream is that dress.


Another fun site is JPeterman.com, which was introduced to me while I was still a student at Radford. One day in copywriting class, our teacher pulled up this site to show us one of the many ways to sell products while still keeping an audience's attention.

JPeterman.com
I don't know about you, but a story about finding cologne while antiquing in Paris sounds a heck of a lot better than selling something solely on the claim that "it'll make ya smell good." I especially love the way J. Peterman carries the storytelling technique throughout the site, because it makes each thing seem as though it was labored for, discovered by chance in an attempt to bring you, the customer, the most exclusive products from all over the world.

And last but not least--Brad constantly checks out a site called Woot!, which you may be familiar with if you're a technology geek or deal-hunter. What you'll find: one-day deals on everything from GPS modules to Rug Doctors. The home page changes every day (or sooner), but each description features the same sort of story-telling vibe that you'd find on the other sites I've mentioned. Plus, it's very silly.


 
 

So, shop away, America! Selling has become the new king of entertainment. Just don't say I didn't warn you when you start wanting one of everything.

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