Handle with care

September 20, 2013 at 9:37 am | Posted in copywriting | 11 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
A delicate operation.

A delicate operation.

Word up!

When you edit a website to relaunch a high-end muesli range, every word counts.

To this end, a clever client and I recently had an interesting exchange:


I bought some yogurt today. They have ‘handcrafted’ as part of their product description.

I currently use ‘hand mixed’ on my website and labels.

Do you think ‘handcrafted’ could be a better word for my range?

What about ‘hand made’?


‘Handcrafted’ used to be a novel take on ‘hand made’, but it isn’t anymore.

Your muesli isn’t furniture.

And you aren’t God.

Therefore, ‘crafted’ is not the word I’d go for.

I think you’re already totes on the money with ‘hand mixed’.

And, for the record, I’d like as few hands as possible in my yogurt!


So we’re sticking with ‘hand mixed’.

Copywriting is a deeper process than some people think.

That said, if a client has already nailed something, a good copywriter doesn’t try to gild the lily or fix what ain’t broke.

For that is our


What do you think?


Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Pic by Jay PH.


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  1. The Claw. The Claw decides!

    But you’re right – copywriting can be as much about what you leave in as what you take out.

    Nice to see another practical copywriting tip. Keep them coming!

    • Thanks so much for your instant amen, Ad! It sure has been a long time between posts. I shall certainly endeavour to erode the interval. Kind regards, as ever, P. 🙂

  2. You want to know what I think? I think you’re smart and funny, an incredibly attractive combination for copywriters. Here’s a great lesson for copywriters on being brutally honest with the client but wearing a velvet glove to deliver the punch. Keep these kind of examples coming, Paul. We can all learn from them.

    • What a beautiful thing to say, Sarah! I wish I’d done this post months ago to hear that! Thank you for your inspiring words. Kind regards, P. 🙂

  3. When it comes to muesli, I know practically nothing about its marketing, or the general market. But as a customer who eats muesli on at least 50% of mornings, I couldn’t care less if my muesli was mixed by delicate hands or in a cement mixer. I just want to know what the ingredients are and how much sugar is in it. Educate me, please. 🙂

    • Ace to hear from you, Jas. I’ve spent more than 50 hours over the last three months optimising the precise content you seek. When this site goes up, you can drill down to as much info as you want on each of 30+ ingredients. There’s also neat summaries that give you the good oil in a few brief bullets. I’ll be fascinated to hear your feedback as an audience member. Kind regards and thanks for commenting! P. 🙂

      • Thanks Paul, I guess what I was alluding to is – does hand made really matter in Muesli production?

        • That’s a very good point, Jas. I don’t actually know why hand-made is so good. I assume it’s because there are caring human minds directing the process and you don’t get great gobs of machine grease in your spoon. But there may well be other reasons. Let me check my source and get back to you. Kind regards, P. 🙂

          • Well, as the creator of the said muesli, I’d like to weigh into this chat.

            When you mass produce a muesli (go to any supermarket) all the ingredients are essentially the same, you are just getting different blends. This is because the production company (who produces your muesli) buys vast loads of each ingredient, then says to you, the creator, this is your choice. You don’t have any choice of quality and at most you would have a choice of two levels of quality or country of origin, ie. Turkish or Aussie apricots. South African or Australian oats.

            Next, to use the 250 kg hoppers (or giant cement mixers) the production companies use to mix your blend, requires all your ingredients to be the same size or weight so it mixes, therefore everything is cut and weighed accordingly…and if you’ve noticed the size of these ingredients become quite small. I choose not to have my nuts chopped because that starts the oxidation process (a slower version of when you cut a piece of fruit). I choose to include chunky sized dried fruit – so you can see what you are eating. I use fine ingredients like amaranth (a quality plant protein) which the big hoppers can’t cope with.

            We hand mix the muesli in 10 kg batches. It takes time and care.

            The advantage of buying mass produced (anything) is that it’s cheaper. Hand mixed, hand made and hand crafted all take time and human effort and is therefore more expensive. Also the quality and kind of ingredients we use cost more.

            And so in just a couple of paras that is the different between mass production and hand mixed muesli.

            • There you go, Jas. Straight from the 250 kg hopper’s mouth! Thanks so much for laying it all out, Flip. I’ve been working with you for almost a decade and still you blow me away with your passion and expertise. I appreciate you taking the time to join our debate. Kind regards and happy hand-mixing! P. 🙂

  4. This comment just in via Facebook from good friend Sarah:

    ‘Nice one Feisty.

    Marketing on packaging is almost making me want to throw up in the aisles at the moment. I went to buy a tea and the package said to me….Hello Kindred Soul….and I went, really? really? I am just buying tea.

    And i put it back.

    Unfortunately the next tea that I bought I did not read all the words and bought one that said to me that this tea will be as uplifiting as chatting to your girlfriends, in fact, it would have me want to jump up on the couch. Again…really?

    So I am with you. Keep it simple. hand mixed is better than handcrafted.

    p.s. and for the record,there was no couch jumping.’

    Thank you very much, Sarah. It really is beaut to receive your words. Fond regards, F! 🙂

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