For a lot of people, creative writing seems just like algebra. Sure, it is useful in high school but once you graduate, your employer is definitely not going to ask you to solve for X just to get your monthly paycheck.
However, creative writing is slightly different. This little bugger pops up unexpectedly at different points in your life and if you didn’t pay attention in class back then, you’d have an extra item to add to your list of life’s regrets.
When it comes to running marketing activities or campaigns, creative writing can help take your campaign from a zero to a huge, muscular hero.
In fact, many huge brands have stumbled upon this secret and are now incorporating storytelling and creative content into their ad campaigns. From Disney to Apple and even financial institutions, creative writers seem to be working pretty hard on modern campaigns.
It is interesting to note that this new tweak to marketing is paying off too. It doesn’t even matter whether you are running B2B or B2C marketing campaigns. With a dash of creative writing, you’d get conversions faster.
If you are feeling a little Thomas-y about the perks of using creative writing in marketing campaigns, here are some examples that may help clear your doubts:
Time and time again, Disney has proven to be the king (or queen?) of storytelling, so it only makes sense they’d be at the top of this list.
For years, Disney has been creating ads for Disneyland trips but none has tugged at the heartstrings of people or gained as much popularity as its 2018 ad for Disneyland Paris. In fact, we are pretty sure you must have stumbled upon it while you were scrolling through your Instagram or YouTube feed.
But what is so special about this new ad? It is simple. Disney artistically wove creative writing and storytelling into this marketing campaign.
The ad opens with a baby duckling, who for some reason is obsessed with a Donald Duck comic book. Unfortunately, his newly found source of excitement doesn’t last for long. Bad weather approaches suddenly, and the duckling and his family have to leave unexpectedly, leaving his book behind.
When the sun rises, they find themselves at Disneyland Paris, where he comes face to face with his new hero, Donald Duck. The creativity embedded in this script was so powerful that it became one of the most popular videos not long after it was released.
It also paid off as most people (and ducklings) became motivated to visit Disneyland.
If you’ve ever accidentally subscribed to a company’s mailing list, you’d definitely agree that receiving tons of unnecessary emails that sound the same can be pretty annoying.
This probably explains why many brands seem to be missing the mark when it comes to email marketing campaigns. How on earth do you get disinterested customers to read your email and take the necessary actions?
Well, Altra seems to have figured that out. Instead of sending out countless emails about their products, they decided to do something different in one of their campaigns.
Using the power of creative writing, they told a story about James Lawrence, the famous endurance athlete. Telling this story of a man who has almost supernatural athletic abilities is definitely more interesting than talking about a pair of shoes.
In the email, Altra tried as much as possible to avoid mentioning a specific product. Instead, they only referred to Lawrence as an “Altra athlete”.
This may seem stupid to anyone at first glance. However, this unusual marketing strategy did achieve one thing: it got users interested in their products through the power of influence and creative writing.
After reading the story of James Lawrence, almost anyone would want to get a product linked to this athlete. Would it give you his athletic abilities? Of course not. But will the thought of wearing the same shoe as James Lawrence make you feel better? Definitely.
3. Mercedes Benz
We’ve not even talked about the ad yet but we are pretty sure a clear image has already popped up in your head.
Just before we get down to it, there is something you should know. Creative writing is so powerful that you could draft an entire story with only one word and still get to convert your audience to buyers.
If you’ve not been living under a rock and you own a smartphone, you must have come across the Mercedes Benz ad with the grim reaper in it.
If you haven’t watched it yet, there is a huge chance you just paused to reread the last part of the previous sentence. What on earth would the grim reaper be doing in a car ad?
Well, a lot of things, apparently. This ad harnesses the power of creative writing with just one word: “sorry”.
In the ad, a man is seen driving a car (Mercedes, obviously) when the grim reaper suddenly appears. Chuckling, he says “sorry” and looks forward. Ahead, there is a potential accident waiting to happen.
The driver slams the brakes and the car comes to a grinding halt. He turns to the Grim Reaper and says: “Sorry”.
From the ad, the message is clear. Mercedes cars have powerful brakes that reduce your chances of dying in a brake-related accident.
Any viewer who sees that ad will definitely feel compelled to buy a car from this brand – if they have a few thousand dollars to cough out, that is.
For many people, Apple may come across as a high-tech brand that would never bother to create content that their audience can relate to.
However, this isn’t entirely true. Even though Apple products are quite pricey, the company still found a way to show consumers that with Apple products, even the underdogs can win too. How did they manage to do that? The answer is simple: creative writing.
Through a fusion of creative writing and marketing, they were able to create a strong brand message.
In the ad, viewers can see four colleagues who clearly are at the bottom rung of the office ladder. Somehow, they encounter the boss and have to prepare a compelling pitch in two days. The video shows the employees working hard and brainstorming on their – you guessed it – Apple products.
At the end of the video, no one actually sees the presentation but from their confident expressions in the elevator, you can tell that they are about to crush it.
So, what did Apple achieve through this ad? Well, they managed to create an emotional connection with their audience through the power of creative writing. But that is not all. They also passed across an important message: Apple products are reliable and are just what you need when it comes to making any life-changing decisions or presentations.
How to Use Creative Writing in Marketing Campaigns
Now that we’ve taken a look at examples of instances where creative writing benefited marketing campaigns, we are pretty sure we’ve cleared any doubts you may have had at the beginning of this article. So, it is time to get down to what really matters.
How do you use creative writing in marketing campaigns? Whether you are drafting a script for an ad or drafting emails on different marketing topics, here are some tips that would definitely help you:
i). Be original
What sparked the storytelling trend in brand marketing? Here is a quick hint: it wasn’t Disney. Brands simply woke up, smelled the coffee, and realized that the conventional way of marketing just wasn’t going to cut it anymore.
The same quest for originality that sparked the storytelling trend should drive you throughout the brainstorming process. If you are drafting a marketing email, try as much as possible to use innovative sentences.
Don’t ever feel tempted to steal content or content ideas. You’d only get outed as a thief and that isn’t an image you want for your brand.
ii). Know your audience
Your audience largely determines the direction your writing will take. For instance, if your audience is largely made up of middle-aged women, you definitely won’t be writing emails or scripts that cater to women in their 20s.
Make sure that at the end of the creative process, you’d have come up with content that your audience can relate to.
iii). Stay creative
Like you’ve probably already guessed or seen, this article is centered around creative writing. As such, you literally have to stay creative every step of the way.
Your copy should be compelling enough to convert your audience to buyers. If not, you just might have wasted your efforts and the audience’s time as well.
Over the past few years, creative writing has carved a permanent spot for itself in the world of marketing. From CEOs churning out creative emails, to huge brands using creative writing in their video ads. This just goes to show that this trend is not just popular, it pays off as well.
So, if you’ve been searching for ways to improve your marketing campaigns, creative writing just might be the way out.
Luckily, we’ve shown you the best examples that you could draw inspiration from. It may not be an extensive list but at least, you get the message.
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Amanda Dudley is a writer and a lecturer with a Ph.D. in history from Stanford University. When she is not lecturing and helping students with complex assignments, she works as a part-time essay writer, providing top-quality essay writing service and academic projects at EssayUSA.