Stand out copywriting

Thinking outside the box

Who gives a Giftwrap? Your customers just may!

3 min. read

A few decades ago, when I first dipped my toes into the wonderful world of advertising, my then boss, Brian Sinclair, launched me onto the creative path on which I find myself today. He handed me my first copywriting job – writing radio copy for a Swiss pharmaceutical client. I stared at him blankly, me write?  Here, this will help, he said as he handed me a thin bright orange book called “Ideas.”

The book’s premise was simple: You generated ideas by thinking about what you needed to create for X number of days, then not think about it for the same amount of days, after which the ideas would just flow.  

That book sparked a whole lot more than that first radio ad and its proven formula still stays with me. I love trying to think of creative ways to deal with situations, to mull over things a while, then deliberately park them outside my mind so that the magic ferments.

Back in 2020, as everyone must remember, toilet paper was an issue. A tissue you could say (sorry about that). And along with others who gave up lining up for toilet paper, I signed up for Who Gives a Crap toilet paper deliveries.  

I’m sure everyone know about Who Gives A Crap. They’re a social enterprise which launched in 2013 and very nobly offers half its profits towards helping improve hygiene and sanitation in developing countries - so far it has donated a staggering $10 million.

I loved the good Who Gives a Crap were doing but being an avid conservationist, I hated throwing out the paper in which each toilet roll was so beautifully and individually wrapped.  

Having a huge sense of humour, an idea started forming at the back of my mind.

All those perfectly pretty toilet paper wrappers, plus a bagful of ribbons I had saved over the years, plus boxes in all shapes and forms which were heading for the recycling bin….and two very bored international homestay students desperate for distraction during the eternally long Melbourne Covid Lockdowns.

Will you guys make up some fake presents for me please, I asked. They rolled their eyes. If you do this, I will buy you whatever you would like to eat for dinner tonight.

Well, you know what kids will do for food.  

I bought them the best Sheng Jian Bao dumplings from my local dumpling store which made them very happy. And they produced some incredibly creative and over-the-top presents which made me very happy.

All that was left was to send the photos of their beautifully wrapped fake gifts to Who Gives a Crap, to pass on the idea to their customers:  

My tagline: “Who gives a Giftwrap? (Why not give back this Christmastime? Recycle the recycled)

Funny, no?

Turns out that Who Gives a Crap already had a similar concept in place and although that was disappointing, I still used my idea to wrap all my Christmas presents that year and everyone got a good laugh out of it.

How about your products or services? How creatively and practically can you promote them? “Thinking outside the box” always produces returns – whether creating brand awareness and more sales, or even a laugh which feeds back to customers remembering your brand.

Keep top of mind in your customers’ eyes – help them see how they can get the most out of your offerings, down to that very last drop. Upsell and onsell, upwards and onwards!