Wednesday 4 January 2012

2011 copywriting trends

2011 was a busy year in this office. But what were the top five copywriting trends at Barnaby Benson...?

Jumeirah don't do budget
1. Going Global. We live in changing times. The established order hasn’t just been challenged, it seems like it’s been well and truly overturned. East is the new West, and in the Americas, South is the new North. In 2011, the majority of our clients had one thing on their mind: accessing these developing markets.

Luxury hotel chain Jumeirah were peppering the desert with jaw-dropping hotels. FTSE 250 recruiters, SThree, were operating in 15 countries -  including the likes of Russia and Qatar. And HSBC were pointing to their established links in Brazil and China and scurrying to attract the staff to service growing demand. That's right, last year was all about building a global empire, BRIC by BRIC.

2. CSR. That’s corporate social responsibility to those not up on their acronyms. Public demand and Government policy mean it’s an increasingly important field. Companies are starting to take responsibility for the impact they have on the planet.

Demonstrating environmentally responsible activities is now an absolute must if you're going to be a major player. We recently worked on a CSR website for global giants Coca-Cola Enterprises Europe. Did you know they make bottles from plants these days?!

3. Online Security. Anonymous... LULZsec... Julian Assange... online security was a big deal in 2011, giving pasty-faced basement dwellers their moment in the sun all over the world. With more and more sensitive customer information being stored online, companies need to ensure their security and their employees are capable of safeguarding it. Failure to do so leads to government penalties and loss of trust. And loss of trust leads to loss of customers. Therefore online security is an area where companies are happy to get the chequebook out to change attitudes.

Last year we worked on a fantastic internal online security campaign for HSBC for agency Blue Goose.

4. Conference videos. I was watching a documentary the other day and the head office of Innocent Smoothies looked more like a playschool than a place of work. Google has a campus full of ping-pong tables. And flexitime is now commonplace in the city. This demise of formality has blurred the lines between corporate and consumer.

Take conferences. In 2011 we wrote the scripts for multiple conference videos for Novartis – and each one sought to entertain. These days we don’t need to be in the same room to get together, so when people do make the effort, they expect something in return – and not just a deluge of information. Click here for tips on how to do this.

5. Life in the English market yet. OK, so HSBC are headquartered in London and SThree are an English company, but they both have very global outlooks. Were there any UK focused clients who invested in communications last year? Actually, yes. Planet Cruise. An English company looking for English custom. We helped them develop a new TOV and put together an exciting new brochure. Perhaps next year will see more of an active UK market...

Overall it was a fantastic year full of interesting and varied projects. And our clients were just as satisfied. Let’s hope for more of the same in 2012.

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