If you’re used to flying, you know that’s not the most exciting thing ever.
After a while it’s the same process and you’re just waiting for the next step in a pretty boring sequence of events.
Take the preparation for take off.
Show passport and boarding pass, walk to plane, find your seat (praying the one next to you is empty), seat belts on and the never ending safety procedures.
Over and over, every flight, the same stuff. Couldn’t they make a free course you do once and then you’re done?
And then give you a badge that says you’ve gone through the course and now you’re good for life.
Anyway, one of the reasons why they repeat that stuff over and over is probably straightforward…
…it’s boring as hell. Nobody pays attention (yes you know you don’t).
So I was amazed when yesterday boarding my flight back to the UK, I witnessed a moment of pure magic.
My flight attendant was an entertainer!
He threw subtle but super funny jokes around, like he was on a stage.
For example: “Once we’re ready for departure, we’ll head off in the wrong direction, like everybody else is apparently doing” hinting at the delay we were having.
Or the fact that he presented each person in the crew before demonstrations and invented a funny background story for each (must have been rehearsed!).
To end it all with “I’m sure you’ll carefully listen to the safety procedures”.
All of it with a straight tone, dead serious.
This made me actually pay attention to that stuff. Because now I was humanly connected to the crew, to the “presenter”… he disrupted my automatic behavior and he made me care.
That’s what a lot of copy out there doesn’t do.
Not talking only about the enterprisey stuff you see in the wild. It happens often, because companies rarely take the time to dig deeper into what resonates with their audience.
They don’t even try to make them care. They just want to tell, rather than show.
In humour writing there’s a spectrum for picking your style and format.
I find it pretty useful for understanding how to use not only humour, but also personality when it comes to injecting your copy with that extra ooomph (after you’ve done the research of course).
This is what makes people care and it’s how you disrupt their automatic “zombie” behavior on websites.
I’ll talk about it tomorrow.
P.S. I did a couple of live website teardowns a while ago for a podcast, where I use some of these principles. You can check it out here.