Earlier this week, I shared a post about word choice.
In that post, I discovered something interesting: I really hate the copy on Tiffany & Co.’s website.
As part of a series to help me better understand what makes copy great, I’m going to analyze a portion of their website to learn from it and understand.
A quick note: I’m judging Tiffany’s American site rather than their British one.
The Tiffany & Co. Home Page
The Tiffany home page is in full-on holiday mode right now.
The opening text reads:
“At Tiffany, we celebrate seizing the moment and declaring your feelings boldly. When it comes to love, there are no rules. And there’s nothing like a Blue Box.”
Frankly, I love that Tiffany’s keeps their branding at 150% during Valentine’s Day. I love that there is no red anywhere but that the hearts are instead the beautiful blue that the brand is famous for. Tiffany can do that because they’re fricking Tiffany, and I think it’s rad that they do so.
When it comes to the actual words though, I think there is room for improvement. Personally, I think this is a “meh” opening. It’s not bad, but I also don’t find it particularly great either.
Let’s break it down sentence by sentence:
“At Tiffany, we celebrate seizing the moment and declaring your feelings boldly.”
Okay, I get where they’re trying to go with this one. I like the idea of “seizing the moment” because the company is convincing people to buy extremely expensive jewelry. And I see how they are trying to position the product: as a declaration of love that is unbeatable.
But this positioning is also what confuses me about the sentence. Instead of describing their product as a declaration, they use the verb “declare” to describe the action associated with giving away the product.
I’m assuming that they do this to keep the focus on what the consumer is doing rather than the product. This is smart and copywriting 101—you want to position your product as the obvious solution to a customer’s pain point.
For example, instead of saying:
“Our diamonds are the best and you should buy them”
You want to say
“Tiffany has been setting the standard in the jewelry industry since 1837. Many have tried to compare to us, but nobody ever will.”
The goal is to make your customer feel the value of a Tiffany piece of jewelry. You don’t have to sound salesy to sell shit.
In the case of Tiffany, they want to emphasize that giving a piece of jewelry to your loved one is the ultimate symbol of love and devotion. And if you’re going to do it, you might as well make it a Tiffany piece to declare it boldly.
However, this first sentence is clunky and strange to me. And Tiffany’s use of the word “boldly” makes me want to vomit. Overall it’s kind of a clinical way to describe the act of giving your girlfriend or wife an expensive piece of jewelry. It also doesn’t sound human enough to me. I never “declare” my feelings for someone—I just tell them.
“When it comes to love, there are no rules.”
True, there are no rules when it comes to love. We should all be able to love whoever we want however we want.
However, this feels sort of off-brand to me for Tiffany. This company is built off of the traditional idea that you need to buy big and expensive items to “declare” your love as “boldly” as possible. They ultimately want you to stick to these “rules”, otherwise, they would go out of business.
In addition to being a strange thing for the most luxury brand to say, it’s also a strange sentence that makes the overall copy disconnected. The fact that there are “no rules” doesn’t really have very much to do with declaring your love “boldly” (i.e. The Tiffany Way) or with the Blue Box that they’re about to sell you.
“And there’s nothing like a Blue Box.”
This is the best damn line in this entire piece of copy. I love it.
Because it’s fucking true.
There really isn’t anything quite like getting one of these famous blue boxes. The color is absolute perfection, and the symbolism of elegance behind Tiffany makes it a more emotional experience than opening up a jewelry box from Swarovski.
The sentence itself is strong and does fantastic as the final line for the piece. The truth is that many people who are already on the Tiffany website are kind of ready to buy an expensive piece of jewelry. They might be deciding between different brands, but this sentence hits it home: there is something more to the experience when you buy with Tiffany.
This sentence reinforces that idea and it makes the buyer want to click “purchase”. Even if they think the price might be a little high, they’ve already created the understanding that the high price is for the experience as well as the product.
What I Would Have Written
I know that Tiffany must hire some of the best copywriters in the world. But they’re not immune to criticism.
Here’s an example of what I might have written for the Tiffany Valentine’s Day promotion:
“Love is intangible. But there’s nothing like a Blue Box to make a bold declaration.”
I think that this piece keeps it focused on the consumer's actions, appeals to the shifting cultural ideas of how love "has no rules", and also makes a strong statement about the company overall.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!