Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bogart: Alive and Well on the Internet

There are those who believe that product information can be delivered creatively, as long as the information is delivered. Such is the Web page example below. The site owner, selling a variety of gift items including whisky flasks, women's compacts, keychains, and cigarette holders, asked the copywriter to create an atmosphere reminiscent of a time when speakeasys, Al Capone, and the impending war in Europe dominated headlines. For copywriters and Web developers who practice search engine optimization techniques, the following page includes a two-percent keyword density.

Her Search for a Quality Whisky Flask Brought Her Straight to Me

I knew she was trouble the moment she walked through the door. Anybody who can walk through a door without opening it first deserves my undivided attention.

“Can I help you?” I asked, studying the enticing figure before me. Watching her barge into my world made me suddenly aware of two obvious truths: she meant business, and I should have gotten those hinges fixed.

Wearing a black sheath, a pair of pink Air-Jordans, a gardenia over her ear, and a cologne that filled the room, she strolled toward me and leaned over, her palms flat on my desk.

“I’m looking for a whisky flask for my fiancée. No tacky stuff. Total quality at a reasonable price, ok? And if you come through, there just might be a bonus.” I couldn’t help doubting her sincerity, but decided to take a chance.

“You came to the right place,” I said. “Pull up a chair.”
Papers flew as she swiped her hand across a corner of my desk.
“Never mind,” she said, sliding onto the corner. “I’ll sit here.”
“Suit yourself,” I said. I slid my laptop between us and opened my Web site. I told her the best way to show her what I had was to peruse my site.
“Ok,” she said, “Let’s see what ya got.”

I moved the mouse pointer to the upper left, then down the list of flask styles.
“We’ve got all kinds of flasks. We got a flask that looks like a cell phone. All ya gotta do is click there on Cell Phone and you’ll go right to it. Same for engravable flasks, hip flasks, personalized flasks, gift sets, novelty flasks, and leather flasks, including one just for dames – uh, ladies.”

I told her that when one of my customers saw our selection and prices, she said, ‘You scratched an itch.’”
“Don’t get any ideas, Buster,” she said, grinning. “My fiancée scratches all my…itches.”
I let the symbolism pass while I clicked on the comments from all the happy customers, then on the link to all the gift sets.

“We’ve got money clips, key chains, funnels, Zippo lighters, cigar cutters, business card cases, desktop accessories, compact mirrors, letter openers, travel mugs, shot glasses, lots of things that make perfect gifts, like for the people in your wedding party.”

In the distance, a sultry saxophone moaned the refrain from that song about set ‘em up Joe, I’ve got a little story you ought’a know.

“I have friends who are looking for different kinds of flasks and accessories,” she said, sliding off the corner of my desk. “You’ve been a good boy, so maybe I’ll send them to you, ok”?

“Sure,” I said, “I’ll help from start to finish, like selection, engraving, purchase, shipping, the works. And don’t forget to tell them about the free priority shipping on orders over ninety nine dollars and the ninety day guarantee. If there’s a problem we’ll solve it or refund the money.” She nodded an approval and picked up her handbag.

She seemed somehow familiar, like one of those faces you see in a dream. “What’s your name?” I said.
“Ingrid,” she said. For the first time I noticed a slight European accent.

She turned to walk out when I remembered her teaser.
“Oh, by the way,” I said…”how ‘bout that bonus you mentioned?”
She stopped and looked back at me, her mouth curling into a Mona Lisa smile. She reached into her bag, opened her compact and powdered her nose.

“Oh yes,” she said, studying her reflection.
“Tell ya what…I’ll send you some new hinges.”



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