Copywriting as Porn

It’s been long enough that I can talk about this safely.

I was doing copywriting for a company in the game industry (which is pretty much every company I’ve ever worked for, so not much of an identifier–I hope). My exciting challenge was to get lapsed users to come back to us, just for a trial run. We promised it would be better this time around. Really.

But. What I was originally writing never made it into the email blast. I was being honest, you see. “We messed up this thing, and we know it, but we listened and we think you’ll like this new thing a lot better,” was the gist of it.

This was not sexy enough for the Creative Director.

He kept giving me feedback like, “It needs more pizazz,” or “Make it more zippy.” This isn’t useful feedback. At all. Define for me pizazz. Or zip. Or spark. Or half a dozen similarly vague terms.

After a few rounds of this, in desperation, I went back to the skills from a prior writing gig I’d had (this was when I was writing articles for the Penthouse Media Group/Aka Friendfinder). I wrote the email copy as if I were writing porn.

Slip into something more comfortable, I told users. Give it a try and turn us on. You won’t regret it.

Not sure what made me gutsy enough to send that off for approval. Desperation, perhaps. Annoyance. Yeah, annoyance. That one is a BIG motivator for me. But guess what happened next.

Immediate approval.

That went out to users same day, no edits requested.├é┬áSurely, though, this would never happen a second time, I thought. And yet…

When I wrote ad copy as if I were writing porn, the Creative Director loved it. Every time.


If it works…