December 14, 2015
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Filed under Case Studies
Communicating a tangled message
Starting a new category
Serial fiction reminds most people of the 19th century. We think first of Dickens and Austen, The Three Musketeers and The Brothers Karamazov. Today, Serial Box, a company founded by former client Julian Yap, is rebuilding the serial for the 21st century, complete with digital distribution and a production model borrowed from television studios.
Serial Box had a problem with site copy. The main goal was get visitors so interested in the idea of serialized fiction that they’d read their first chapter. But they’d been working on the project for so long that they couldn’t see the concept from an outsider’s perspective. After weeks of banging their head against the wall trying to put the value of their product into words, they gave us a call.
Ground it in a familiar ritual
Make it linear
We started with the headline. We knew we didn’t have much space, so we boiled Serial Box’s value down to three points. First, we attacked the stigma surrounding serials. Snobbier readers write them off as fan fiction or second-rate literature. We wanted to engage people on a different level in order to position Serial Box as higher-quality fare than what’s out there today, so our first goal was to show—not say—that Serial Box’s serials are well-written.
Next up, we wanted to take people through the process. If they could imagine using Serial Box, they could imagine the benefit, too. What was it like to read a serial? Where would they do it? When?
Our target audience was young, urban, and familiar with a similar medium. Podcasts and Serial Box have a few things in common. They’re digitally distributed, and they’re released on a schedule. Podcasts make commutes that much more bearable, and the truly great ones make certain days of the week better. Our Tuesday mornings beat Mondays because we know we’ll get to listen to 99% Invisible on the way into work. We love that feeling, and we knew Serial Box could make a day of the week special for readers, too.
More you say?