Sio’s copywriting swipe file #3: Irvin funfairs

Oh hi, readers! Please come and take a stroll with me through my copywriting swipe file on this lovely spring day. Don’t worry if you’re up to your ears in your Wednesday workload, because this is the shortest bit of copy in my folder and we’ll be finished in, oh let’s say four minutes.

A few years ago, the nice people of Irvin Leisure Funfairs (perhaps George Irvin himself!) followed me on Twitter, for reasons I can only imagine. Well, I’m glad they did because their bio became the first entry in my swipe file:

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Isn’t it nice? Their opening line really got my attention: ‘London’s best family funfair with five generations of experience’. Way to squeeze your location, target audience and USP into nine words! I think it’s pretty impressive to be able to say you’ve been running funfairs for five generations; I checked their website and the Irvins have actually been in the ‘travelling amusement’ industry since the mid-1800s, so you probably won’t find many families still in the game who have more expertise than these guys. I also love that family angle, as it suggests this isn’t just a business, it’s something they really care about. Can’t you just picture them sitting in their back garden with G&Ts talking tin can alleys and tea cup rides?

If it were up to me, I’d be more specific about Irvin Leisure’s 19th-century beginnings in that bio – something like London’s best family funfair with five generations and 165 years of experience – because you can’t buy heritage like that. I mean, this is just adorable: ‘After a life of travel and adventure he returned to his native county and married a local girl, then opened a dancing booth at travelling fairs, in which he played the fiddle.’ If I’m looking for a family funfair in London, I’m definitely going to opt for the one that started as a fiddler in a Victorian dancing booth. So the moral of the story is SHOUT about your USP and heritage if you’ve got them, not just in long-form web copy but anywhere you can. Your Twitter bio might be the first thing prospects read about you, so tell them why they should keep reading.

Siobhan O'Brien Holmes

Something for the Easter weekend


The question “Is it too early for beer o’clock?” started flying around the office about 11am today, and I’m very proud to say that we’ve managed to make it to 4pm and still not a drop of booze has touched our lips. We’re making up for it by blasting out old school pop classics like Blazin’ Squad, Billie Piper and O-Town. I think Steve now needs a drink more than ever.

So, it’s nearly the bank holiday weekend, woohoooooo! What’s everybody up to? Bloodybigspider will absolutely not be in the office for the next four days so don’t be offended if we don’t reply to your emails – we’ll just be too busy drinking wine and getting chocolate all over the sofa.

If you have any free time between your Mars Easter egg and your fifth hot cross bun, take a look at these little beauties. We thought they were pretty good:


That’s all for now, folks. We’re off to HAVE THAT ALCOHOLIC DRINK we’ve been resisting all day. Yeeeah!

Happy bank holiday xx

PS: A big shout out to Taylor, our design intern who finished with us last Friday. He wrote a lovely blog post for us about his time at Bloodybigspider and we’ll be posting that next week <3

PPS: Don’t forget Pollen is coming up in less than two weeks! Get your free ticket today guys!



Something for the weekend

Hey there! Big, HUGE news this week: Pollen has landed.


Join us on Tuesday 5th April in The Finery, a lovely pub just off Oxford Street. It’s free entry, and we have an excellent (totally optional) little ice-breaker thing that you will love if I do say so myself. If you work in marketing / comms / PR / design or something sort of similar, come along and say hello!

In other news, after a couple of late nights this week we had a really successful presentation of first idea for a new client (top secret at the moment, would love to tell you but then we’d have to ask you nicely not to tell anybody else and I’m not sure we can trust you).

That’s about it for now. Stay tuned, we’ll have lots of exciting stuff to tell you next week and if we don’t we’ll make some up.

Links from the week:

Happy weekend! xox


(Awesome BBS doodle courtesy of design intern Taylor Trotman!)

Siobhan O'Brien Holmes

Sio’s copywriting swipe file #2

Good Tuesday to you, friends. Welcome to the very, very belated second edition of my one-woman blog series, where I grab something nice out of my copywriting swipe file and show you how wonderful it is.

Today: Thai restaurant Bol.an in Bangkok.

Steve and I went to Thailand for New Year, and it was very nice apart from Steve’s allergic reaction after accidentally eating nuts and being confined to bed for basically the whole day. That wasn’t Bo.lan’s fault, though; in fact, we didn’t even go to Bo.lan so it would be very unfair to blame them. The nut thing is irrelevant actually, I was just setting the scene.

Bo.lan is a restaurant that I thought about booking for dinner before we flew to Thailand. In the end, for whatever reason, I didn’t, but I came across this online flyer for a food and beer pairing event there and I pretty much fell in love. It’s not at all in keeping with the restaurant’s overall tone of voice (not judging by the website copy anyway) so I assume it was written by Beervana, the beer people.

Now, I’m not saying this sort of ‘fuck you’ attitude is always the right approach to copywriting. Actually, it’s almost never, ever the right approach if you want to sell stuff and have people like you. But in this case, it is good. So. damn. good.

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Doesn’t it make you really, really want to go to this event? I imagine Marilyn Manson would be manning the cloakroom, Metallica showing you to your table and Ozzy Osbourne directing your attention to the specials board, which would just say ‘you’ll eat what you’re fucking given’. Plus everything would be so spicy you couldn’t even touch it with your tongue, and all the beer would have dead beetles floating on the top.

I WANT TO GO NOW and I don’t even like beer. Or beetles.

This is a classic example of ‘don’t be rude to your customers unless you know they love it’, sort of like Kathryn in Cruel Intentions and Rizzo in Grease.

PS: I was originally listening to some soothing rain sounds while writing this but obviously had to switch over to Black Sabbath because that’s what the devil holding the chilli and the pint would want.

Siobhan O'Brien Holmes