Whether it’s Sriracha or copy… sometimes less is more.

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If tomorrow Sriracha hired me on as a copywriter, my first push would be to create instructional copy, in bold, somewhere on the bottle reading…

Less is more.

As an avid Sriracha user, I’ve made the overzealous mistake of squeezing the bottle too tight, coloring whatever is on my plate red, only to find myself in hell moments later as my tongue fends off the flames of Satan.

If there is anything true of writing copy, it’s that like Sriracha, less is more.

(Psst… if you work at Sriracha and are reading this, please sign up for my newsletter.)

In walks Marty Cooke.

Marty Cooke is a renowned copywriter and creative director that has slung ink for Reebok, Livestrong and Nikon.

(He was also on the media team responsible for putting Barack Obama in the White House… a project he lists as his proudest achievement.)

His ads have a distinct flair to them.

They generally sport a great big banner image, along with one or two lines of copy that hit the viewer like a bag of wet bricks.

My favorite ad by Marty was one he wrote for Nikon depicting a blown-up photograph of a big pair of wet red lips, along with the line…

“Pete Turner on why he aways shoots with Nikon Lenses…”

Then, on each side of the photograph, he places quotations.


For a good while now, I’ve been obsessed with this style of copywriting.

(I adore it so much, I dedicated an entire section to it in my copywriting guide.)

Some of the best examples of “less is more” come in the form of Micro Copy: the tiny bits of copy that provide a small delightful experience for customers.

Brands like Stumptown Coffee create magical experiences for their customers by sprinkling in microcopy on their product packaging.

You pop open one of their bottles and you will see the words “Good Luck” staring back at you on the underbelly of the cap.

But, it’s easier said than done.

Saying more with less isn’t easy.

Blaise Pascal hit the nail on the head when he wrote…

“I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.”

Here are a few helpful ways to make the process less chaotic…

  1. If you have a powerful image or graphic, lean on it.
  2. Say it then shut up… nobody likes long-winded.
  3. Once you’ve said it, see if you can’t say it with less.

But, I digress.

By Cole Schafer.

You gotta check this out — Sticky Notes is my email list reserved strictly for entrepreneurs and creatives looking to sell like a Florida Snow Cone Vendor on the hottest day of the year.

Originally published at https://www.honeycopy.com on May 19, 2020.

Written by

I write pretty words and sometimes sell things. https://coleschafer.com/subscribe

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