Inspired by Christopher Johnson’s new book Microstyle, which I reviewed yesterday, I’m devoting a few blog posts to good examples of micro-messages. Here’s some of the short, well-executed copy I’ve noticed lately.
Stella & Dot, a direct-sales jewelry company, invites website readers to join its sales force with this clever enticement:
Become a Stylist
No Glass Cases or Ceilings
“No glass cases” evokes a picture of museum-like department-store displays, which say “Look but don’t touch”—unlike Stella & Dot’s warm, friendly approach. The glass ceiling, of course, is the barrier to professional advancement that frustrates many women. And “stylist” may be just a fancy word for “saleswoman,” but it makes the job sound chic, creative, and powerful.
In just eight words, a vivid image that’s a model of brand consistency.
The next two examples come from the Wayback Machine—specifically, the wonderful Flickr sets of Mr. Frank Kelsey, who photographs matchbooks, sugar cubes, ashtrays, cigarette lighters, and napkins once used as tiny advertising vehicles. Here’s a Marina Lounge cocktail napkin (from the late 1940s, I’m guessing) that condenses a lot of branding and humor into just a few square inches.
Curious about the pink elephants?
The art and typography on these artifacts are euphoria-inducing, and I was floored by how much attention was lavished on the miniature messages. Here’s a sugar cube from “Indianapolis’ Smartest and Gayest Restaurant.”
I’d love to see a revival of these message-laden freebies.
Finally, here’s a sample packet—excuse me, sachet—of Method laundry detergent.
The copy reads:
(It’s small, but not this small, silly. This is a sample.)
Even the instructions on the reverse have a spark of brand personality.
To use: Snip sachet open, squeeze all product into tray or directly into machine. Rush to store and buy.
For the record, that “Fresh Air” scent made my eyes water and my head throb. The copy, on the other hand, is indeed refreshing.
More micro-messages tomorrow.