Copywriting Insights About Freshly Cracked Eggs
When an audio engineer listens to music, s/he’s acutely aware of the skill of the musicians playing – good or bad. Film editors can be annoyed by a bad cut that the rest of the audience won’t even notice. So too, with copywriters and advertising. It drives my husband mad because I’m always picking up bad copy in ads that he didn’t even hear – that his brain just switched off to (making it bad copy on several levels). These copywriting insights are nifty in a sense, because you can work backwards and figure out just how disturbing the product really is!
Which brings me to “Freshly Cracked Eggs”
This morning I ran late, so I grabbed a quick take away breakfast. As I did, I thought of the ad copy for the “thing” I was about to eat. It included the line “a freshly cracked egg”.
Firstly, I can recall verbatim the wording of the ad, not just because it’s a well-crafted ad but also because it’s on SO VERY OFTEN. A lot of money was allocated to this advertising campaign, it wasn’t done by hacks. And clearly, it’s working. I didn’t buy my breakfast from a no name dimly lit dive, this was a well franchised establishment.
So, back to my (fairly rubbery) freshly cracked egg. The point of the commercial (and the accompanying campaign for other products) was to communicate the quality of the food items. It boasted about the freshness of the lettuce, the 100% Australian beef and the like. But when it came to the egg, the best they could come up with was “freshly cracked”.
There are a lot of value adding, topical, meaningful copy been written about eggs
The copywriter on this campaign was not a hack. Chances are it was written by someone in a very posh office in a very posh ad agency somewhere on Madison Avenue.
The free range egg movement is very vocal. They run ads. They influence the spaces allocated on supermarket shelves. Everyone has seen a cage hen and been horrified. So clearly these eggs are not free range. They’re not even “barn laid”.
Omega 3 fortified/organic/grain fed/hormone free…. The egg industry has been trying to differentiate itself for a decade – there are a thousand “benefits” of negligible worth available on the supermarket shelf – but clearly those are not in my breakfast either.
So let’s take it down a notch. Fresh is the core message. But, the wording isn’t fresh eggs, it’s freshly cracked eggs. Why? One of two reasons, first, the company’s distribution practice doesn’t meet the criteria to use the word “fresh” alone or second, they’re selling the value of it not being “powdered egg” in a succinct way (every word counts in broadcast copywriting). So, hooray it’s a real egg that came from a chook’s butt. That’s the best they can do.
Which, as a copywriter, makes me wonder about the egg products that DON’T promise it came from an egg.
So, my cold, rubbery breakfast, including the possibly stale, cage-egg laid by a hormone-filled, Omega-3-deficient, mad-cow-fed, sad, sunshine-less, manky-feathered hen – went into the dog. The dog doesn’t care. I’ve seen the dog eat a rotten stingray carcass.
This is the first-world-problem of copywriters. We’re a suspicious lot especially when it comes to false promises, lies and in this case, undesirable truths.