Tag Archives: Copywriting


It’s (not) fantastic!

The latest round of Go Compare’s TV adverts are even more irritating than usual (hard to imagine, I know).

Clearly, the brief said “we want everyone to think that Go Compare is fantastic!”, and okay, I can see how that’s a good thing. But where they went wrong was thinking the best way to meet the brief was to include the word ‘fantastic’ in almost every sentence – in effect, keyword cramming like it’s 1990s SEO. Count them in the 60-second spot below: seven times!

That sadly means their advert’s lasting impression is anything but fantastic 🙁

Stephen Holmes

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 weekend: Budweiser, ballerinas and Belle

It’s a quick update this week, folks. Busy, busy, busy and all that! Here are a few highlights from the week: Steve went to a networking event last night and had an entire bottle of Prosecco plus beer and gin; we all scoped out The Finery pub on Monday and paid the deposit for Pollen number three – woop; I had a meeting with a lovely client in the middle of Regent’s Park which was very nice.

We’ll have some more exciting insights into Bloodybigspider life next week, honest. But for now, feast your eyes on this lot:

Have a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious weekend folks! (I typed that correctly first time without Googling it, I WIN!)

Stephen Holmes

Something for the weekend: Justin Bieber and jackbit


Our weekly Friday post has been distinctly non-weekly lately. In fact, this is the first since October and I’m very sorry! But we’re back with a vengeance and we’ll never leave you again, Brownie Promise. ☝️

The past couple of weeks on the BBS ranch have been mega busy. Our two lovely interns Luke and Taylor settled in really quickly, although sadly Wiganese Luke is now back up t’north, probably eating some reet nice jackbit and listening to Disclosure. Both boys seriously impressed at the Bloodybigspider karaoke session last Friday, belting out lots of Justin Bieber, One Direction and Jason Derulo songs that I’d never heard in my life. Other standout performances included Steve’s Witchita Lineman, Laura’s Summer of 69 and Lauren’s Holding Out For a Hero (and an extra high five to Lauren who had never done karaoke before and was somewhat apprehensive until we started blasting out Lion King).

Steve has been galavanting around town all week, schmoozing at networking events and taking notes at industry talks and conferences (at least that’s where he says he’s been going).

Oh, speaking of networking, we’re getting the next Pollen ready and hope to have a date and venue sorted very soon, so watch this space.

Alright, enough chitchat. Here are a few things we’ve read online that we thought you might get a kick out of. You’ve been a great audience, thanks and goodnight.


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Reading and writing:


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Have lots of fun this weekend everyone!

Siobhan O'Brien Holmes

Who let the blogs out? #1

We read all our favourite marketing blogs so you don’t have to. The best tips, facts and stats from the experts every week:

1. Unbounce – landing page advice

  • Hero images can really let your landing page down. The dominant photo on there should be a ‘credible photo of a solution that encompasses relevance, context, value and emotion to support, educate or persuade your visitor’. So don’t send your hero out there without his cape. [Read more]
  • Message match is important. The messaging, particularly the headline, of your landing page should tie in strongly with the wording of your ad so people are reassured that they’re in the right place. [Read more]
  • Flip through the first lines of a few books for landing page copy inspiration. You should be defining your intentions straight away so readers know what they’re in for. [Read more]
  • Treat your web visitors like wild animals. People are hunting for information on your website like animals forage for food, so make it easy to find and exciting to read. Rawr. [Read more]


2.  Social Media Today – award-winning social media blog

  • Right Relevance is a nice way of sourcing and queuing up interesting tweets that relate to what you do. We usually use Klout for this, but Right Relevance seems to dig out more discerning, carefully targeted content. [Read more]
  • When choosing a service provider for your email marketing, website integration should be an important factor. The sign-up process for new users should be completely automatic, with new subscribers being instantly added to the database without any fiddling around from you. [Read more]
  • After evergreen content? Use the Google Adwords Keyword Planner tool to find popular, low-competition keywords that relate to your USP. [Read more]


3. Copyblogger – content marketing advice

  • You should think of infographics like pillars that reach back in the past to revive old content and reaches forward to create more content. [Read more]
  • To encourage activity on your blog, get a ‘blog buddy’ who will comment on everything you post, and then do the same for them. This is the equivalent of buskers throwing a few quid in their own hat to persuade passers-by to add to the kitty. [Read more]
  • Content marketing can help maintain healthy relationships with your customers. That way, most customers will eventually turn into fans of the brand, and vice versa. [Read more]
  • Despite claims to the contrary, The Lego Movie fails as a piece of content marketing because there was no clear call to action. [Read more]


4. SfEP – The Society for Editors and Proofreaders

  • Use a recent photo of yourself on Twitter or LinkedIn so people recognise you at networking events. [Read more]
  • Treadmill desks can help you concentrate and increase productivity. [Read more]
  • A recent survey by The Chartered Institute of Building found that most people would trust a builder more if they knew they were a member of a professional body. This mindset applies to other industries too. [Read more]

We like to waste spend a lot of time reading marketing blogs, so please give a shout out to your favourites below and help us procrastinate even more.