So, I’ve been working on a copywriting project for a client whose business is travel. My assignment revolves around Egypt – so I’ve been bandage deep in mummies and pharaohs and tombs and Gods. And it’s all reminded me of something that I find fascinating: mythology.
For instance, there’s the myth of Isis. You see, the Ancient Egyptians believed that when the Nile flooded every year, it was just from the annual crying episode of Isis – the Goddess of Motherhood, Magic and Fertility (and by the way, whoever tied those three things together for her was frickin’ brilliant, right?) – as she mourned her husband Osiris.
As crops and lives were destroyed, the Egyptians were ‘apparently’ able to handle the devastation with a smack to the forehead, “Oh!” They would exclaim. “It’s just Isis again…and no one messes with a heartbroken woman.” Or so some might simplify and suppose.
It doesn’t have to be Egypt, every culture has these myths and they serve one main purpose (besides entertainment and education): myths provide a logical explanation for something that is illogical, out of our control or just terribly hard to understand or deal with. For instance, why the Nile floods every year causing destruction and death or why mosquitoes buzz in people’s ears or why the sun appears every morning and the moon rises every night. Ultimately, myths provide comfort.
Rolling the dice…so to speak
Imagine a product – not an extraordinary thing, but one that a lot of people are making – like a slot machine. Realize that people (maybe not all of them, but a lot of them) are confused by this machine just like they’re confused about the cycle of the ocean tides. They accept it, but they’re still thinking why? why do I need this? how does it work? why would I want to play? and possibly, will it help my crops grow? (Um, yes, if you win and the slot machine spits money out at you). Their reaction to all of this ‘not knowing’ might be fear, it might be trepidation, it might be avoidance.
But, you run a casino, so you don’t want them to respond with fear, trepidation or avoidance. You want them to enjoy and seek out the slot machine. Which is where the copywriter comes in. Copywriters are the creator of your slot machine myth. We write the story that makes all of those consumer people relax and say, “Oh! Now I get it! The slot machine has a logical purpose – there’s nothing to fear! In fact, what I just read made me feel so good and calm and in tune with the slot machine, I want to go play with one.”
We explain, we provide answers, we bridge, we soothe. Our myth is your story and the place of connection from consumer to product, client to service…and sometimes even ancient Egyptian to the Gods…
Image credit: Valerie
Join the discussion 7 Comments
Excellent storytelling! Nothing bores me more than gambling, but with a good story, even I could be persuaded to depost my coins:)
.-= Mary´s last blog ..Eating Well on a Tight Grocery Budget =-.
Very interesting! Do you happen to remember my blog post MYTH: a traditional or legendary story… with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation….(Dictionary.com)? I found it interesting to place it as an overlay to your post. Maybe all that stuff isn’t so imaginary!
Check it out at http://www.jedword.com.
.-= Jed´s last blog ..COUNTING DOWN ON BLOG CHANGES: today is the day! =-.
Hum. Somehow I now see an add depicting a slot with the line underneath: Luck Therapy.
.-= Alisa Bowman´s last blog ..How to Resolve Power Struggles with Your Inlaws =-.
I love this analogy! It’s so very true… Joseph Campbell says we lack modern mythology, but what we lack is cohesive modern mythology because all you copywriters are creating tons of different mythological systems all at once!
.-= Megan Potter´s last blog ..Daring Monday: Try Wild & Crazy On For Size =-.