Finding your inner voice

I ran a little workshop at Woodreed recently where we were having a bit of think about the importance of tone of voice by playing around with the copy of some ads.

We looked at the original copy and identified the tone of voice. We then debated the ‘anti-voice’ and rewrote the ads in the new voice.

We looked at a whole bunch, but I’ll share just the one for hair care brand Aussie. Here’s the original copy for its ‘Miracle Recharge Frizz Remedy’ where the tone of voice, so we thought, was ‘quirky, witty, exciting and optimistic…’

“Car parks locker rooms rooftops the moon.  Now there is nowhere you can’t give your hair a quickie between-wash boost (Okay maybe not the moon).

Behold Aussie’s new miracle recharge collection

A gaggle of eight lightweight leave in conditioning sprays packed with luscious extracts of Aussie exotica.

Need a fix of defrizz? A spritz of shine dashing straight out from work?

A dash of miracle recharge on wet or dry hair and suddenly you’re re-jzhoojzhed (technical term). It’s just the thing for girls who are always on the move even if the cupboard is stationary”

Here’s how it might sound in its anti-voice (Lacklustre, vanilla, dull, pessimistic).

“Like all the other shampoo companies, our staff in Sheerness have mixed a bunch of chemicals together to produce a spray shampoo to get rid of smelly grease and grime.

It’s like all other hair care products and comes off a production line in a bottle, which you can carry anywhere in your bag – if it’s big enough and you want the extra hassle of having to rummage through the phone, keys, tissues and lipsticks. 

We have eight different coloured bottles, which do the same thing and smell a bit like flowers.

Of course it will cost you more and probably take up more of your time as you’ll still have to wash your hair properly.

But if you are too lazy to wash your hair in the morning, you could give it a quick spray before you get to the office to fool people for a couple of hours”

Ok so it was just a bit of fun, but it really helped remind us that it’s not just what you say, it’s the way that you say it that makes all the difference to how you want your audience to feel.

After years of devoting my life’s work to putting the brand at the heart of internal as well as external comms, it still makes me raise at least one eyebrow, perhaps sometimes two (and that takes some doing I can tell you) at how many organisations are still forgetting the importance of using the right tone of voice inside to their people as well as to customers.  It’s well documented that emotional engagement is four times more powerful than rational in rallying the troops, but people still insist on dishing out the same old cold rational communication to their own people saving their deliciously on brand engaging voice as the exclusive preserve of their customers.

Keeping your corporate voice on track doesn’t have to leave you hoarse, but it does take a bit of effort up front. Woodreed often work with clients to help put their corporate voices through their paces, especially those who have multiple departments creating comms inside as well as outside their organisations.  The emphasis is on the practical application of tone of voice and sessions are run with copywriters on hand providing clients with a set of tools to enable them to deliver tone of voice inside and out with ease.

If you would like to know more or just generally shoot the breeze on all things tone of voice, please do get in touch cdahl@woodreed.com

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