Writing for Waaark (Awarded the 2017 Award of Excellence by Communication Arts).
Bonne Marque has worked with the French legends, Antoine Wodniack and Jimmy Raheriarisoa, for years now. The developer/animator duo have played an important role in our work for half a decade and we have long considered them one of us. It was therefore very exciting to hear they were opening their own studio together, Waaark, for whom I was happy to write the English copy for their visually arresting new portfolio.
Tone was the first thing we talked about. Antoine and Jimmy were well aware of ‘the Bonne Marque’ style, as they called it, and they made it clear several times that they didn’t want this 'in your face' bold tone for them. Because they had only experienced my writing through Bonne Marque, they weren’t aware I was more flexible than that, so I assured them that everything was going to be okay. Leave it to me, guys.
There was too much so-called ‘fun’ in the French copy, which was written before I began with the English version. In my opinion, these two brilliant professionals required a more classy touch, so I wrote to Antoine and Jimmy, saying:
I have a problem with writing ‘fun’ as you probably noticed. I just think the only person having fun with ‘fun’ sentences is the writer, not the readers. Honestly, I don’t think you want that tone on the website, so maybe you could think about editing the French copy. Just a suggestion.
After talking, we agreed that clean and professional copywriting was the way forward. There was more than enough ‘fun’ in the design and animation, and the writing didn’t need to compete.
The three titles above are, at first glance, nothing particularly special, but look at how much is already going on, and realise that many of the elements on this design are animated. Clarity is everything. Words such as ‘elegant,’ ‘functional,’ ‘custom-designed’ and ‘clear’ were chosen with consideration, to accurately reflect Antoine and Jimmy’s methodology and work, but there is little poetry.
The more interesting of the three headings is the third one, starting soft, with ‘fine’ and the playful rhyme of ‘studio’ and ‘two,’ before striking a harder finish with words ‘know,’ ‘value’ and ‘hard work.’ It’s no coincidence that the final heading plays with language more than its two predecessors, as though the license to experiment had been earned by solid foundations.
The heading and subheading shown below strikes the ideal balance between being instantly recognisable while using words — notably “Straightforward” — that aren’t commonly used on agency and creative portfolios.
As mentioned in the introduction of this article, Antoine and Jimmy are people we know well. In some respects, this makes my role as writer simpler because I don’t have to spend a great deal of time researching and getting to know my ‘subjects’. On the other hand, the writer must exercise his or her critical judgement with a greater discipline than usual. Which of Antoine’s or Jimmy’s qualities will be more interesting to clients? Which one word best represents what I want to say?
‘Straightforward’ in the above section was a word I spent a good deal of time over. The first word ‘Creative’ appealed to the simple way Waaark wanted to be presented in their copy, and I agreed with the idea that the writing on their site shouldn’t compete with animation and development — importantly, because Waaark offer two services: animation and development. ‘Straightforward’ is an alternative to the more common ‘Direct’ or ‘Honest’ options while offering the design some nice variety between the length of the chosen words. Ending with ‘Personal’ is a simple but necessary reminder that these two French legends are friendly people. They are always professional and a pleasure to work with. If clients understand and believe this, my writing has been successful.
The site has been honoured with a great deal of awards in our industry, narrowly missing out on numerous ‘Site of the Month’ awards just because of the incredibly-popular release from another great agency portfolio, our friends at Resn. Antoine tried some copywriting of his own actually, suggesting that Waaark’s new motto should be “so close.”
I am sure their “so close” motto will soon be rewritten, because the talent of the duo at Waaark is destined to bring the studio the greatest awards in the industry before too long. They have achieved so much already; they are young, hungry and brilliant; and they are too modest for their own good.
That’s all from me. Now visit their award-winning site and experience the expert development and animation firsthand: waaark.com