Even after all these years of copywriting I still sometimes get a new brief and think, ‘can I do it’?
Such was the case with TOTM who approached me last year to help them with some branding copy for their forthcoming website.
They were planning a site that enabled customers to send luxury goodies to their female friends at that Time Of The Month. This 100% Australian owned company had hit on a new twist on the standard gift site model, but would it work, and how would we handle the dreaded P word?
The brief from the team at TOTM was to:
- Help position the brand of TOTM.
- Create some standard copy and brand guidelines.
- Get around the awkwardness of discussing periods and menstruation.
- Develop a meaningful strap line.
- Write the About page for the website (the rest of the site was written internally).
- Set a template for product descriptions.
Some original (and unusual) client ideas for strap lines included: ‘Her TOTM may be late but her TOTM present will be on time’ and ‘Give loving presents periodically,’ but ultimately we agreed on my suggestion of:
Loving presents | Perfectly timed
Then it was time to tackle the menstruation issue ‘head on’ and not hide behind metaphors, blue ink imagery and other advertising clichés. We decided to set some ground rules:
- We wouldn’t patronise the audience.
- We could say period but not ‘periodically’ (too naff!).
- We’d never refer to a period being ‘late’, as usually that’s not a positive thing for those who aren’t planning a baby!
- We’d never EVER use euphemisms, e.g. ‘is your red rose in bloom’, ‘have the painters been in’.
- We’d refer to women as women, not girls, or chicks or ladies.
Here is a sample of copy written for the About page of the TOTM website.
So, it’s her time of the month and she feels tired, grumpy and uncomfortable – how can you let her know she’s in your thoughts and make her feel special? TOTM can help. Here you can choose the prefect gift for your loved one, something to let her know how much you care.
Making a sensitive subject a bit less touchy
We know what you’re thinking: isn’t it a bit odd to give a woman a gift during her period? Won’t she be offended? Well we think not. Although we know that the whole menstruation thing can be a sensitive subject for some women (and don’t get us started on the blokes!), we’re taking a tongue in cheek approach. TOTM’s aim is to offer funny, tasteful gifts that are great value and can bring a smile to any woman’s face.
Periods aren’t going anywhere and they shouldn’t be a taboo; instead lets celebrate them and reward our female friends and family for putting up with them every month!
The client wrote the following testimonial for me after the project finished:
“After presenting Kate with our content brief, she understood our unique concept immediately and continued to work diligently throughout the process. We are extremely happy with the copywriting style/content along with the applied SEO.
In brief Kate is efficient, organised and absolutely nailed our project. Kate, we will be back in contact for round two when we are nearing our ecommerce launch. Many Thanks Martin & Renay.”
Top Qualities: Great Results, On Time, Creative.
By taking a cheeky, fun and relaxed attitude to the subject matter, we managed to remove any awkwardness.
The site launched in early February and is already doing well with a growing Facebook following and customers ranging from young teens to older women and men. The feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive.
Martin and Renay, who head up the Sydney team, have plans to expand the range of gifts and even include products for men. (I know plenty of men who are grumpy at certain times of the month, don’t you?)
You can visit the site at www.totm.com.au, find them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
Over to you
What do you think of the TOTM concept and how we handled the copy? Share your thoughts below:
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