Kitchens, Chocolat and the Gold Writing on the Wall

When Lairdo and I discussed the prospect of writing copy for a kitchen components brochure, my initial reaction was ‘how many different ways can you describe a kitchen’.

And that my friends was the brief. And with it the challenge.

The initial task was to write a product brochure in the style of art exhibition catalogue. BA offered about fifty different kitchens, each available in a myriad of different colours.

At the time I had been reading a lot of John Simmons work about using different influences in writing for business. I was doing some random searches on the internet and came upon some quotations from Joanne Harris’s book Chocolat. The descriptions of the chocolate were so indulgent, sensuous. I thought, this could be the approach we are looking for – to create a certain mystique around the kitchen and illustrate each description with a related quote from literature.

During a visit to my brother in law’s house I noticed how his wife had stencilled literary quotations about love in gold paint onto a red wall. It created a totally decadent boudoir effect, luxuriant, indulgent, very over the top. I thought if we can replicate something of this approach instead of dry functional descriptions of kitchen components, we could have the copy sorted. My sister-in-law was a potential representative of the target market so I thought that in itself showed the appeal to the target audience.

And so the two copy ideas came together.

To make a long story short, when I tested initial copy on some friends, the results were startling. Most happily for us, the client liked the material because it was enigmatic, different and unlike anything the competition had to offer.

Working with Lairdo and the team with BA is highly enjoyable. They are a brilliant, highly valued client. They bring immense attention to detail to each job and that’s great for us. I wouldn’t have believed so much thought could go into a kitchen.

Postscript. Although I formally applied, I was denied permission to use extracts from Chocolat in the catalogue for copyright reasons. Disappointed but unbowed, I switched our attention to Keats poetry. It offered a wealth of material and influences and was a perfect replacement. But read Chocolat for yourself, a real treat.

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