Explaining Every Weird & Obscure Reference We Made in 2019 Emails

But first, poetry from a ten year old

As a child, I was exceptionally good at rhyming and making up fake song lyrics.

I had no idea this would one day serve me as copywriter for a company called Verblio. Now I get to send business emails with subject lines like this:

I can explain. And I will. Here we go.

2019 started with a magic carpet ride.

We tried to re-create the magic in your inbox:

Since everything is impermanent, we invoked the ominous TIK TOKING of the clock to try and inspire bold moves.

A decade before Tik Tok the app, there was “TiK ToK” the song.

The delightfully trashy first single from Kesha (formerly stylized Ke$ha) opened with the line, “Wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy”, which, according to Wikipedia,

came from an experience where Kesha woke up surrounded by beautiful women, to which she imagined P. Diddy being in a similar scenario. 

Bless you, Kesha. Then we brought it back around to Aladdin in the final reminder email.

And the sign off….

For those of you not born yet or without cable from 1984-1995, you might not know about Robin Leach and his iconic show:

After touring the luxury homes of actors, pro athletes, and business moguls, Leach ended each episode with a wish for his viewers: “champagne wishes and caviar dreams.” 

Verblio: the caviar of content.

February saw the debut of the Verblio Verbcast, our bi-monthly email where we share all the verbs that propel your content to action.

It’s a verb, it’s a plane

We gave you our editorial calendar template, a gorgeously organized tool of content creation power, plus other helpful content about content and content creation. 

Why the subject line “A soothing sense of control”?

Because the editorial calendar is a spreadsheet, and spreadsheets spread joy. Spreadsheets make me feel safe in uncertain times. This blog post started out as a spreadsheet, actually.

From the bi-monthly Verbcast to other bi things…

“Vid-curious” is a take on “bi-curious”, the mythical phase every college girl supposedly goes through where she wants to make out with all of her girlfriends. When we debuted our video product in March, we tantalized the list with this very softly suggestive subject line and the promise of a free sample video.

NO, NOT THAT KIND.

Quick copywriting aside, adding “curious” to words that rhyme with “bi” is kind of fun:

Back to the emails. 

A spicy subject line gave way to a salty email, featuring everyone’s favorite Turkish chef and 2017 internet sensation Salt Bae:

From there, we reminded folks about the offer by invoking 80s Swedish hair metal:

Sadly, no one took us up on the offer for two free videos.

In August we serenaded the list with two (2!) distinct stanzas of rhyming verse. Give me a theme, and I will riff.

In this case, on the ease and beauty of Verblio’s duplicate requests feature (basically a tool that makes it easy to dupe a request and brief our writers).

For non-customers, we waxed poetic about the frustration of flaky freelancers:

“A repeated and frustrating circumstance” sums up so much about the modern experience, doesn’t it?

Freelance writer frustration seemed to hit a nerve, so we spun it into a whole campaign based on a made up condition: PFWD.

We made a fake pharmaceutical drug ad and I cast my English Bulldog, Violet, alongside Verblio CEO Steve Pockross.

Don’t they make a great pair?

If you missed the ad, here it is:

Did you know that prescription drug logos are incredibly low-rent and fake looking?

I wanted to create something equally weird for our high-quality content cure.

It’s not a prescription, it’s a SUB-scription.

Right before the holidays, I was medicating my own depression with hours of holiday baking shows on Hulu. I learned that the stale-looking chocolate log served at holiday parties is called a Yule Log, and this gave me an idea.

Yum.

Our big holiday campaign was feeling exceedingly boring when Kali, Verblio’s content wizard, suggested searching “weird holiday” on a stock photos site to jazz things up.

This turned out to be a goldmine.

Then we needed to impose URGENCY.

Per the first reminder email:

That “urgency” search also gave us the photo that became the basis of the third and final email in the holiday series:

Not everyone was a fan. Someone replied calling it “Pathetically cheap pseudo-erotic BS.” Then the following:

You know this box gets thousands of emails, your vapid lazy sh1t is by far the worst.

We’re not for everyone. Happy new year.

Annika Nagy

Annika is Verblio’s copywriter and a marketing strategist, specializing in versatile verse-making, wit, whimsy, and alluring alliteration. When not conjuring magic in the creative cave, she enjoys entertaining the team with puns and Venn diagrams. Her hobbies include exploring abandoned places and driving through the desert with her corpulent cuddle cow, Violet the bulldog.

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