Tone Tasks

A scene from Mad Men where John Ham repositions Kodak, not as the future but caretaker of the past.

A few years ago organisations suddenly woke up to a question proposed by this man, Simon Sinek. He asked what is your Why? He suggested that customers wanted to know the why of an organisation and this is a question deeply related to tone.

In a commoditized market products differentiate themselves on the role they seek to play in our lives. This is a collection of brands organised around the Jungian archetypes.

But you can also look at just about any aspect of human life in these terms. Pick a saying in any language. It could be “all for one and one for all” like the three musketeers, or “Never give a sucker an even break, (W.C Fields) or “Nobody’s perfect.” Then ask yourself which archetype does the quote sit best with?

Steve Jobs positioned Apple as a creator disruptor. It was consonant with everything else he was getting the brand to be. You know the other brand elements in the mix: Good quality workmanship, the Apple genius persona, a turtle neck young sexy upstart rather than the nerdy tie wearing embodiment of the PC. And although Apple had some totalitarian tendencies itself, it managed to position itself as the antidote to the herd mentality.

Your task is to create a new brand of bottled mineral water. Find the 5 Ps that will take you there and create a new tone of voice to speak about it.

The civil side of sozzled positions the crisps by use of tonality against the many other premium packets of crisps lining the shelves. The ad on the right concentrates on using a differentiated proposition as opposed to differentiated persona.

The Virgin tone of voice has helped Sir Richard Branson sell a lot of extensions to his original brand of records.

Nigella Lawson is a chef who’s famous for sexualising food. Here in a spoof by Private Eye, we see how writing can convey intent, which is of course tone.