Five-Spice Copywriting


five-spice copywriting


Though the exact origin of Chinese five-spice is lost to us now, it’s clear that the blended ingredients made a power spice.  Cinnamon, clove, star anise, fennel seeds, and Szechuan peppercorns on their own are pungently earthy, but together they command your taste buds’ full attention.


Here are a few copywriting five-spice tips:


  1. Boldness. Playing it too safe is just another bad habit.  Be bold, shake things up.  Use an unexpected word instead of a predictable one.  This is a subtle way of tricking the mind into focusing attention on the unexpected.  Hey, it’s science! How The Brain Detects Novelty


  1. Perspective. Where is your writing coming from? Who are you talking to? Talking to no one is just as ineffective as talking to everyone.  If your intent and audience are undefined you will have a muddled message.  If your copy isn’t working the trouble might be found in your lack of perspective. 


  1. Clarity. Often confused with simplicity, clarity is sharp, clear, and crisp.  No convoluted messages.  Value your audience enough to tell them an engaging story with direct calls to action.


  1. Emotion. Snarky humor has led some to conclude that emotion in the public space is corny and passé.  Speaking from the heart to the heart is the only way to make a genuine connection.  Placing emotion center stage in your copy keeps your writing focused on the benefits.  Benefits love emotion.


  1. Kill Your Darlings. In rehearsal, actors are often told by the director to lose the business they’ve relied upon.  Copywriters can also fall prey to the tricks that got laughs and tears in out-of-town tryouts.  Two things happen when you stick to the tried and true.  You close the door to possibility and experimentation.  You run the risk of becoming a stale writer ticking off all the included points from the textbook. Be ruthless, kill your darlings and discover new inspiration.


Post these near your writing station and think of Chinese five-spice the next time your copy feels a little bland.


five-spice copywriting






My Five-Spice Recipe:

The ingredients can be found at your health food shop and most grocery chains.

You will need:

Cinnamon, clove, star anise, fennel seeds, and Szechuan peppercorns

Blend the following ground spices: 
1 1/2 tbsp. star anise
2 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Szechuan pepper
1/2 tsp. cloves
Remember this stuff packs a punch so use it sparingly, a pinch will do most of the time.