Beanz meanz memoriez

by Tom Albrighton 18 September 2018 Copywriting, Copywriting reviews

Sensually rich copy helps readers ‘pre-experience’ a product, so they want it for real. Or it can do the opposite, warning them off something bad.

This email copy tries the second approach, but with mixed results.

Headline reads: ‘Avoid a beans-on-toast retirement’; image is a senior couple cycling at dusk

The beans are a synecdoche for a cash-strapped retirement. But the concrete imagery is stronger than grammar. If I say ‘don’t think of beans’, you do the opposite. So despite the idyllic sunset-years image, and the implicit exhortation to aim for a lobster-thermidor retirement, what I actually latch on to is… beans.

Beans on toast

They’re intended to be meagre and dreary, but in fact they sound hearty and satisfying. Particularly in the context of stock imagery and financial services.

Beanz meanz a lot to Brits. My granny used to make them for me. She put mixed herbs in the beans, like my granddad liked, and I’d munch away in front of ‘G-Force: Battle of the Planets’.

Battle of the Planets

‘Always five, acting as one’

For me, this is a meal with powerful connotations of family, love and comfort. In other words, the true wealth we all wish for in old age.

So while emotive, this image ended up pushing me away from the product instead of drawing me in.

There’s more on evoking an experience in chapter 11 of Copywriting Made Simple.

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