The subtle power of clever packaging copy (plus lots of brand voice examples)

Megan Douglas

Megan Rose Freelance

Take a look in your kitchen. Go on. I guarantee you’ll find copy, and that you’ll see that copy pretty much every day.

For me, it’s the packet of tea bags which I go to every couple of hours. And it’s the bottle of laundry liquid that I pass as I walk in and out of the kitchen.

Copy doesn’t just sit on websites or on shop shelves or in adverts. We take these crafty little words into our homes on an almost daily basis. We all know that advertising is sneaky, but it’s easy to think we’re immune to it when we know it’s there.

But wait! Let me tell you a story…

Sitting comfortably? Excellent.

A few months ago I woke up from what I think you’ll agree was a truly exciting dream where I’d been diligently sorting bread rolls into white rolls and brown rolls. Specifically, I’d been responsible for creating packs of nine white bread rolls. That’s right. Nine white rolls.

I was a bit confused about what this could possibly mean, what part of my day-to-day life this was trying to tell me about through my subconscious, what a therapist would make of it all.

I got up, headed into the bathroom and suddenly it all became clear. This (below) was one of the last things I must have seen before I went to bed.

I have no recollection of even reading the words but they obviously stuck.

If such a few innocuous words could insinuate themselves into my brain enough to create a whole dream, imagine what persuasive copy must be getting up to in our subconscious minds without us even realising.

Interesting right?

I love copy and I’m especially fond of copy that works hard in the everyday world.

So in one of the oddest blog posts that I’ve written so far (and probably one I wouldn’t be writing if we hadn’t been stuck at home so much over the last couple of years), let’s take a tour through the world of copy chez Meg.

I went around my home and gathered up the copy that populates my little world. It’ll probably give you some kind of terrifying insight into my life (and my spending habits) but I’ve already let you into the weirdness of my dreams, so why not?

Products in the bathroom


Vaseline keeps it simple, and has done for as long as I can remember. This tin is so classic and clear.

Why the packaging works

Packaging the product in a small, pocket-sized tin transforms it from Vaseline to ‘Lip Therapy’ (which in itself promises pampering and ongoing healing).

Yes, this particular tin has added aloe, but that’s an extra. And the line “helps heal dry lips”… what could be clearer? Pain point, solution and tagline in one. Love it.

Perl Cosmetics

I don’t think that Isabel, founder of Perl Cosmetics, actually 100% means that this mask will solve absolutely everything in your life, but that’s not the point.

Why the copy works

These face masks are about pampering, treating yourself, taking time away from your worries and relaxing.

This postcard came in the box with the mask (which is made up of several elements that you mix together to suit your skin) so it lives in the box it came in. Each time I go to use it, I see the postcard again and the message is reinforced. It’s totally on-brand and helps create the experience.


I’m sneaking this one in here because shampoo bottle copy is where I originally fell in love with copy as a teenager, and I’m a sucker for reading the labels in the shower.

Why this made the list

This range is particularly special because I wrote the copy. I can’t quite bring myself to post the back of pack copy here so you’ll just have to buy it if you want to see… I genuinely do love this range though. Give it a look.




This one is in the bathroom cabinet waiting to replace the one that’s running out.

Why the packaging works

Nuddy’s copy is witty, conversational and lighthearted – an absolute breath of fresh air in a world of beauty products that promise the earth and take themselves too seriously. I love their copy.

Lateral flow tests

Humour me. This one is more instructional copy than sales copy but there was a lot at stake for this writer in persuading the reader to take note. That’s why this copy made the list.

What I particularly like here is the line at the top:

Read this whole guide carefully before you start the test. This test may be different from those you have used before.

Yep, this is the move from nose-and-throat to just up-your-nose tests. Delightful.

Why the copy works

It works because it’s such important messaging and it’s done so clearly. It doesn’t just tell you to read the guide carefully. It tells you WHY.

“This test may be different from those you have used before.”

It made me stop and read it properly and I’m sure I’m not the only one.


Fat Face PJs

This is a really old pair of pyjama bottoms which I’ve had for years. You can probably tell that from how faded they are. But rather than my ‘fashion’ choices, what we’re looking at here are the four words on the label: made well ~ worn well.

That’s a line you’d find on lots of Fat Face clothes at that time, but what I particularly love about these PJ bottoms is the tape that’s sewn all around the waist inside. It’s completely faded off now, but for years it read with an extended version of the generic line on the label. The fabric tape said, on repeat:

made well ~ worn well ~ sleep well

Why the label copy works

I’d see those words when I got ready for bed. Even now, I think of it every time I see the tape because it was there for so long. It’s one of those added touches that builds a brand and makes you feel a part of it in your everyday life and routines.

Incredible work, Fat Face.

It’s probably time I buy some new PJ bottoms, though.

Lucy & Yak

This tag came on a top I bought from Lucy and Yak, a brand built on a clear ethos of sustainability and treating their workers with respect.

Why the clothing tag copy works

I love that they tell their story and introduce their values in a way that’s so concise they can send it out with every order. Plus the artwork is totally on-brand.



Love it or hate it, it’s a classic!

Why the copy works

Marmite embraces the fact that it divides opinions and is an acquired taste. “Wake up your taste buds” doesn’t just give a nod to the fact that this one’s a breakfast favourite of many, it also speaks to their personality.

Filippo Berio

I have to thank the supermarket delivery fairies for this one. It was a substitution for an own-brand alternative and it’s so much nicer than what I’d originally ordered. But that’s beside the point.

Why the bottle label works

Filippo Berio is known as a quality brand that’s authentically Italian, and that’s exactly what the copy on the back of the bottle evokes. It transports you to that world in just a couple of short sentences.

This is another one that sits on the countertop next to the cooker all day, every day. I wonder how many times I’ve read it without really realising.


“Liven up your lasagne”. Don’t mind if I do.

When I open my cupboard to see what copy I could find for this post, this little gem was quite simply staring me in the face.

Why the packaging works

Oxo has cleverly realised that the lid to their box would, more often than not, stay open in the cupboard. And they positioned this little piece of copy perfectly.

It’s brand copy done simply and brilliantly (and simply brilliantly, too).


Ok, so I’m not picking this one out for any kind of clever, creative copy.

Instead, it’s here to remind us all of the practical business of selling points and how important they are.

Why the copy works

I came to the Ecover brand less because of its messaging around the environment and more because of its formulation, which avoids allergens. And if it wasn’t for this messaging along the bottom of the label, I probably wouldn’t have ever picked it up (and my eczema would still be awful). Why the copy works

So this is a timely reminder to get your core messaging straight and never to dismiss it in favour of the more fun stuff.


Gluten and I aren’t the best of buddies, so these are a breakfast staple for me.

Why the packaging works

As someone who, before the gluten revelation, had been a big fan of Weetabix, the copy on the side of the packet (which is exactly what you see on the shelves when boxes are stacked up) told me exactly what I needed to know.

Important to note that I don’t think these are properly free of all traces of gluten. And I know that if this matters to you you’ll already be all over this, but I can’t not say it… Here endeth the public service announcement.


It’s no secret that these guys know what they’re doing when it comes to painting a picture and creating a sense of calm and tranquillity with the packaging of their herbal teas.

Why it made this copy list

Pukka teas made this list because they use their copy so well throughout all their packaging.

There’s messaging on the outside of the box and messaging on the inside of the lid, but the bit that really stands out to me (and which I see regularly) is that one little sentence back of the individual wrapper. It says it all, evoking emotions that work hard for the product. Glorious.


The other tea in my life (there can never be enough tea).

Why the copy works

Again, there’s loads of copy on the packaging, and again, there’s one line that really stands out for me. It’s that one at the top. Simple, comforting and sounds just like your nan.

“Blended ’til it’s lovely.”

Ah Tetley.


Wild Posies

Wild Posies sell gloriously beautiful dried flowers, and I’m in love with these clever tags they add to each bunch. So deeply in love, that I kept one.

Why the label works

The line is so beautifully on brand. It’s that simple.

A perfect, minimal play on words. Grown up but still fun. A touch of wry humour. And a veiled call to action to maybe post a pic of your new flowers on social media.

(It worked, and I did).

Isabel Hospice

OK so this isn’t packaging, but it’s wonderful and deserves love. This flyer for the brilliant work Isabel Hospice does (check them out and support them if you can) dropped through my letterbox.

Why the flyer works

“We will never stop caring.”

What a line. It says so much.

We’ll never stop providing hands-on care to people who need it.

We’ll never stop providing emotional care to them either.

Our people, and our organisation, genuinely care about you.

I just loved it, especially with the face mask photographs (even in a pandemic, we’ll never stop caring).

Powerful stuff. I wrote copy for another of our local hospices last year and I really wish I’d come up with this line.


I’m sure lots of us have had these drop through the door.

Why it works

Yes, the copy is a bit cutesy and a bit wackaging but it makes me smile.

And that’s good enough by me 🙂

Eventually, I stopped rummaging through my cupboards

I can hear your sighs of relief already.

If you like, you can follow me on LinkedIn for more of this kind of stuff.

I’m on Instagram, too, if that’s more your thing.

And sometimes on Twitter, if it’s not being too angry that day.

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