Netflix writer reveals advanced copy secrets of a narcissistic, drug-abusing, once-famous horse
What can a show about a narcissistic, drug-abusing, once-famous horse teach us about copy?
More than you could ever imagine.
We are of course talking about Netflix’s Emmy-nominated, award-winning cartoon, “Bojack Horseman” (which is, in my opinion, the greatest cartoon ever, equaled only by childhood favorite “Calvin and Hobbes” in its creativity, depth, and ability to elicit that “gooey-heart” feeling).
What makes Bojack so great?
Well on one hand it’s an adventure.
It’s an immersive world that draws you in and lets you play and explore without the shackles of reality pulling you down (half the characters are talking animals, which is only where the zaniness begins).
But it’s not *just* a wacky, wild, zany adventure.
It also deals with the modern human condition better than just about any other story I can think of.
And that’s what makes it so great.
It gives you just enough breathing room (between the talking animal characters and wild wordplay that characterizes the show) to hit you in gut with topics like abuse, addiction, depression, suicide, shitty childhood trauma, and lots of other issues that plague our modern society.
In fact, because of the “breathing room” the cartoony zaniness creates, the emotional bits hit you even harder.
It’s like a good comedian.
They will often sandwich controversial, emotional, political, or other “heavy” content in between humor. Part of why is that the humor opens you up to receive the “heavier” stuff.
But there’s also lots of contrast going on there too.
So the funny is even funnier.
And the sad is even sadder.
That’s what makes Bojack tick too.
The show creator even went as far as saying, “the brighter and the sillier and the cartoonier we went, the more the audience was willing to go with us to these very melancholy places that maybe on a live-action show would have come off as indulgent or saccharine. And the darker we went, the more our audience was willing to follow us.”
So am I saying you should make your copy wacky, wild, zany and cartoony?
It all depends on your market, your personality, and so on.
But I do know that if you want to punch your prospects right in the gut, and you want to hit them hard with difficult emotions, that you also have to slip in some of the brighter emotions too.
Which in copy is usually hope.
Hope that they can solve whatever problem is plaguing them and causing them the difficult emotions you are wrenching on in your copy.
Otherwise, you risk losing them.
And obviously you want to tie that hope back into your product as much as possible.
Speaking of hope…
If you hope to get better at writing email copy, click this → https://www.copybymccune.com
Oh and also watch “Bojack Horseman” if you haven’t.
If you love writing, chances are you will love it.