TV sitcoms that will make you a better copywriter

by May 31, 2017Copywriting, Copywriting Tips0 comments


Three catchphrases that copywriters should live by

How can the sitcoms Diff’rent Strokes, Friends and Full House make you a better copywriter? It’s all about the catchphrases.

Growing up, I LOVED Diff’rent Strokes. I fantasised about living in a New York penthouse. And I giggled hard when Gary Coleman screwed up his face to ask, “Whatchu talkin’ ‘bout Willis?” It became a regular saying for millions of ‘80s families. But how does this timeless catchphrase make me a better copywriter? Read on to find out…

Whatchu talkin’ ‘bout Willis?

Arnold Jackson, Diff’rent Strokes

The often-repeated catch cry of Arnold is my copywriting guiding light. I even have a Gary Coleman meme stuck on the wall above my desk. Why? Because when it comes to writing clear and compelling copy, the most important question is, “Whatchu talkin’ ‘bout Willis?”

Good copy gets to the point. It sends a message loud and clear. It’s easy to read and easy to understand. If your copy’s full of buzzwords, or industry jargon – it’s not good copy. If your copy goes around in circles without ever getting to the point – it’s not good copy.

If you want your copy to cut through, it needs to get to the point.

Sitcom takeaway: Get to the point. Be clear about your message. Let your reader know exactly what you are talking about…Willis.

How you doin’?

Joey Tribbiani, Friends

Aah, Joey Tribianni you were one of my favourite Friends…until that disastrous Joey and Rachel pairing….what were they thinking?! (And don’t even get me started on the spin-off.) Despite these hiccups, Joey holds a special place in my copywriting heart, because he knows the number one rule of copywriting. “How YOU doin’?” When it comes to writing copy, it’s all about the audience. How are they doing? What do they need? And how do you communicate with them in a way that will connect?

A key rule is to use the word YOU.

Take a look at your website home page. How many times have you used the words, “we” and “us”, or “me” and “I”? Now, how many times have you used the words, “you” and “your”?

When you are talking to your audience, using the word, “you” shows them that you understand them. That you want to solve their problem.

Sitcom takeaway: Using “YOU” will help you connect with your audience and show them that you understand their perspective.

Cut. It. Out!

Uncle Joey, Full House

Uncle Joey, always the giver of sage advice in that crazy Tanner household. And his best advice for copywriters? “Cut. It. Out!”

That’s right, cut out the words you don’t need. Get rid of those ‘Botox words’. The ones that plump up the word count, but confuse the message.

Cut out the words that you think make you sound intelligent, but actually make the eyes of your reader glaze. If they have to Google the meaning, you’re not doing it right. Use plain English. Short, clear sentences. Simple and easy to understand words.

Sitcom takeaway: Cut out the filler words and the hard to understand words. And use plain English to convey your message clearly.

Make your copy “legen – wait for it – dary”

To make your copy “legen – wait for it – dary” (name that show), refer to these timeless sitcom catchphrases. Doing this will improve the way you connect with your audience and convey your message. Which will make it easier for you to convert your prospects into customers.

Over to you

What’s your favourite sitcom catchphrase? (And how can you related it to your business life today?)

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