Two Screens: GQ and Target

I’m a big proponent of great copywriting. I think it has the power to salvage an average site, and is the only thing that takes a site from exceptional to outstanding. It’s a shame when big brands don’t engage in robust content strategy. Here are two examples:

GQ Magazine: I was reading an old profile of Ted Kennedy, and this was the footer of the article. What’s bothersome? Who goes to GQ or any other monthly magazine for “breaking news”? No one. Lesson: Don’t pretend you’re something you’re not.


Target: Every once in a while I order something from Target (given that there are none in NYC). This was the response screen after I placed my order. Sins? Multiple.

  • “We cannot confirm the price of an item until your order enters the shipping process…” What? Telling me rules *after* I order, and right after you thank me for my purchase?
  • “…a small number of items on our Web site may be mispriced…” followed by a few lines of instructions basically saying if they figure out they should have charged you more, they cancel the order.
  • And finally, a note tacked on to the end saying not everything might come in one box.


Ok, what’s so crazy about this? Not much that’s complicated, but again things that should be addressed with great writing and content. This page isn’t a genuine “Thank You” at all, it’s a terms and conditions sheet, hidden *after* you order. Boo Target. Bad customer experience.

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