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Steal this Disney strategy to make your writing more interesting (…and have more fun writing it!)

One topic that comes up again and again in Facebook groups, webinar comments, and my audience surveys

How to make your writing more interesting.

Writing in a way that lets your personality shine through is tough. How do you find that fine line between being authentic and being unprofessional?

As someone who lives on that there fine line, I’ve got a really fun copywriting trick to share with you today.

It will help you catch attention. It will create a bond between you and your reader. And it will make your writing more interesting.

Aka…the triple threat of copywriting. 😉

To do this, I’m stealing a page out of Disney’s playbook. Because they use this strategy all. the freakin’. TIME.

It’s why parents are so happy to oblige their squirming kiddos who beg them to see the latest Pixar flick. (And why those of us without kids still watch them like crazy.)

The Disney Secret to Make Your Writing More Interesting

Disney didn’t invent this strategy, per se. They just use it like the pros they are.

And that strategy? Easter eggs.

An Easter egg (in this sense, at least) is a little inside joke between the reader and the writer.

I first heard about Easter eggs in the gaming world. My brother is a HUGE video game nerd, to the point where games are like a spiritual experience for him. He doesn’t just play them, he soaks up the graphics, the storytelling, the overarching themes and messages. (Apparently geeking out over beloved hobbies is a family trait.)

Video game creators are notorious for dropping in little Easter eggs throughout the game.

It might be a familiar catchphrase in an unfamiliar face.

A character from one game making a cameo in another.

A graphic that pays homage to someone else…but is tucked off to the side so it’s easy to miss.

The key is making your Easter egg a hint of a flavor, not something overbearing. It’s like a little clue that makes your audience feel smart for having stumbled upon it.

Disney uses a similar strategy in its movies.
It drops in subtle jokes, references, and wink-wink moments that only parents will get. And when you realize them, it sends a little jolt of excitement through you.

Exhibit A:

How to incorporate Easter Eggs to make your writing more interesting

That’s all well and good for video games and Disney movies…but how does this apply to copywriting?

Because you can use the same idea to make your writing more interesting and fun for readers.

You can drop these Easter eggs in pretty much any type of writing, from…

Sign-up forms…

(Source: Later)

(Which was followed up with this confirmation notification that made me chuckle…)

Blog posts…

(Source: copyblogger.com)

Facebook posts…

(Source: Glossier)

Inside your images and graphics…

(Source: postable.com)

Contact forms (and yes, this one’s my own!)…

Instagram posts…

(Source: Instagram)

This Easter Egg was egg-stra cheeky (sorry, couldn’t help myself,) because it was in response to Beyonce’s Lemonade album, where people were mixing up Rachael Ray with Rachel Roy. (You can see from the comments that people really loved it.)

One of my blog posts that got the most shares / emails /social media engagement is this piece on grammar lessons, of all things…

But people loved it so much because I used Harry Potter references to explain the grammar rules.

It added a touch of fun to an otherwise dry piece…and Harry Potter fans so appreciated it!

How to create your own Easter Eggs

Honestly? You make like Nike and just do it. 🙂

So the next time you’re searching for a metaphor to use…

The next time you’re looking for a hook-y intro to pull your reader in…

The next time you’re editing your copy and need a lil’ something to make your writing more interesting…

Drop in an Easter egg!

Two words of advice:

1. Use Easter eggs as a topping, not a main dish.

Don’t make your Easter egg the crux of a piece. You want people who don’t understand the reference to be able to breeze right over it, while still getting the gist of what you’re saying.

Chances are you didn’t “get” all the of the examples above. But thanks to context clues, you still would have been able to move through the copy just fine.

Your Easter egg won’t connect with everyone and that’s okay. The people it does connect with will love you more for it.

2. Don’t go too-too niche with your Easter eggs.

You want to use references that aren’t hyper specific or you run the risk of people not getting the joke.

I can mention Hermione by name and even throw in a Gryffindor prefect email address. But if I called out the spell that opens the hump on the witch’s statue…well, my high five hand would be left hangin’ a loooooong time on that one.

So err on the side of common awareness!

And when you’re weaving in an Easter egg, make sure you choose a shared interest between you and your readers. Making connections through Easter eggs is a subtle way to build a relationship and create a writer-reader bond.

If you don’t know what those shared interests are? I gotcha, pal.

I ask questions to specifically figure out your ideal audience member’s interests and random likes in my Audience + Brand Clarity Workbook.

Click below to download your own copy to tease out the topics that will make for the most bond-worthy Easter eggs!

join the convo

 

What is ONE book/movie/TV show/musical group or other shared interest you have with your ideal audience member?

Have you seen any other great examples of Easter eggs floating around the internet? Share a link in the comments — I love seeing how other writers use them!

What other ways do you make your writing more interesting?

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© Whitney Ryan LLC

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