The Voices That Bring Good Copy to Life

March 6, 2017 Ophelie Zalcmanis-Lai, Content Editor

“The more you read, the more things you know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Simple, but powerful. Those words came from a children’s book by Dr. Seuss, but they are perhaps the truest expression of the joys of reading.

From books like I Can Ready With My Eyes Shut! to The Catcher in the Rye and everything in between, everyone has at least one book they swear by. The book they can read over and over again, and learn something new each time they revisit it.

In short, the written word is pretty awesome.

To celebrate that, Audible launched the #AudibleVoices campaign where stars like Zachary Quinto, Clare Danes and Alan Cumming read from the likes of 1984, Les Misréables and The Lord of the Rings.

The lines are short and sweet, but somehow each one leaves you thinking way longer than the ads last.

This is what captured our minutes this week.

Here’s why:

1. In just 15 or 30 seconds, Audible manages to entirely hook audiences.

“I’ll be as dirty as I please and I like to be dirty and I will be dirty!”


That’s Lameece Issaq reading from Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.

That’s also one hell of a line to read.

Thoughts about feminism and nasty women, anyone? When a single line makes you think about big picture ideas beyond the ad itself, that is great writing and the power of great writing at work.

A copywriter didn’t write this. Nope, these words were given life well before this campaign was even dreamt of (let alone Audible itself being dreamt of).

But these lines were picked because the language is strong.

When you’re working with as short of a time frame as a 15 or 30 second spot, you need to get the idea across quickly, and without ramming information down audience’s throats. No frills.

Audible said they weren’t trying to get political with this campaign (though you can all derive your own meanings from the literature selected), but that they wanted to celebrate “the performers whose voices bring books to life.”

So they literally did that. Sometimes you don’t need a script. Sometimes you just need to give already existing content a new way to be relevant.

Also, it helps to have the stunning voices of people like Issaq give the intonation life. Every emphasized syllable and every breath taken was done so for audiences to feel those words, not just hear them.

That’s how we remember things. When we can feel them.

Cue the goosebumps.

2. The ad is being delivered in a political context that makes their sentiment particularly relevant.

As mentioned previously, Audible insists it wasn’t trying to be political.

But we just can’t help but draw our own conclusions.

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

That’s a passage from To Kill a Mockingbird, read by Mike Colter.

Considering recent discussions of racial tensions and gun violence happening all across North America, one could say that yes – this line is particularly poignant.

Great content can always use the help of great timing. While not all marketing campaigns are about current discussions of social issues, riding the momentum of these discussions adds a layer of awareness.

It means that brands know what is resonating with people and is delivering them content that complements these feelings. This wins peoples’ minutes.

Whether or not Audible meant to get political, we reiterate: it delivered some pretty telling content at a telling time.

Not all marketing campaigns have to be complex. Sometimes they are as simple as reading a line or two from a book. What makes those lines powerful are how and when they’re delivered.

So those 5 W’s you learned in school? Yeah, they’re still relevant in today’s marketing. In fact, a brand’s ability to adapt to address them is what makes that brand relevant.

At the end of the day, people engage with content by lending their minutes. Content is successful when its battery is fully charged with attention.

What will win this week?

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