Updated: Oct 24, 2020
Written by Ali Berg.
I’m currently writing packaging copy for one of my clients. They want to be witty, cheeky and yet still informative (ie. they don’t want to dilute their how-to-use instructions with too much banter). This got me thinking. What is the happy medium between cool and educational packaging copy? If you owned a shampoo brand, you wouldn’t want to just say, ‘wash, rinse, repeat. Best for dry hair’.
That’s too boring. But writing ‘pour this magical unicorn dust on your mane, then lather into a glittery mist, then replicate. Matchmake it with parched hair for extra sparkle’ is a little…too much. Here’s some examples of product copy that I think are nailing it. Let me know if you think the same!
I was lucky enough to write some packaging copy for this brand when I was working at Leo Burnett London. It’s pretty simple, but I think it really works, and instills confidence in customers.
The added fun of ‘for unhappy hair’ and ‘may we suggest’ feels personal, like the brand knows you and is your friend, without being over the top and annoying. Some of my favourite lines I wrote for Aussie were ‘For skin that needs a big, soft bear hug’, ‘Wash away Monday mornings and worn out snooze buttons’, ‘Get out of that awkward yoga pose.
Put down the green smoothie. This baby is far more rejuvenating than any fitness class or juice cleanse.’ and ‘Massage to lather and rinse. Feel your sleepiness wash away down the plughole’.
Here’s another favourite from the UK. This delicious popcorn brand uses artisanal packaging copy to tell their story and how their brand began, whilst still delivering their product information in an engaging and artisanal way.
Their best lines to me are ‘popcorn done properly’ and ‘We’d spend hours experimenting with ingredients and seasoning, impatiently waiting for each kernel to pop’.
It makes it feel like you’re about to indulge in something custom and local, rather than a mass-produced product. That it’s written from the perspective of co-founder Casssandra Stavrou, is also a really nice touch.
What can’t Go-to skincare do? One of my favourite brands on social media, this skincare brand by Zoe Foster Blake also has some brilliant packaging copy.
It’s fun, tongue-in-cheek, but still tells you what to do in a straightforward way.
You know packaging copy is good when it makes you laugh alone while standing in your bathroom, about to wash your face.
Famously known for its packaging copy (some people think it’s brilliant, others think its ridiculous) I had to include it in this list.
From poems about space monkeys to ‘what does your tongue say about you’ quizzes this packaging has been dubbed ‘wackaging’ because of its crazy, wacky tone.
You can scroll through all their beautiful and wacky packaging here. I like it. What do you think?
So, there you have it.
My top 4 packaging copy examples. Whether you like wacky lines or artisanal stories, there’s a few tips that I believe all good product packaging copy should do:
Keep it short. No one wants to read an essay when trying to read ‘how to use’ instructions. Try using lists or bullet points instead.
Get personal. Consumers love to buy from brands with passion. Talk about why you’re doing this, your mission and your belief – in a funny or serious way.
Add your call to action (CTA) So you don’t lose your consumers, just when you’ve grabbed them! A CTA could be ‘see our full product line here… ‘ or ‘follow us on Instagram for all our latest updates’.
Hedgehog is run by Josh. Josh helps small businesses to sell more online with detailed advice, planning and management. Learn more here.