Creative Cage Match: Birchbox vs. Johnny Cupcakes

Again we dive into my personal inbox (I swear, you’re getting to know me too well). This month’s cage match goes a step further to throw in the hot topic of content marketing. Does one marketer do it better than the other, more creatively than the other? We shall see!

There’s a reason that pro-wrestling is so popular — and it’s not just the juicy drama and bespangled costumes. People love a good fight, and have for millennia, dating back to the gladiators of Rome and beyond.

So, once a month I’m going to select two marketers and toss them into a Creative Cage Match. I’ll be looking at everything ranging from email to direct mail, website to mobile site. It’ll be a mix of objective and subjective, and each time a marketer will walk out of the ring triumphantly.

Again we dive into my personal inbox (I swear, you’re getting to know me too well). This month’s cage match goes a step further to throw in the hot topic of content marketing. Does one marketer do it better than the other, more creatively than the other? We shall see!

In this corner, we have the beauty products monthly subscription box the ladies love to love, Birchbox. Started in 2010 by two Harvard Business School graduates, Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna as an online startup, it has since grown to be a company worth $485 million, maintains relationships with over 800 brand partners and has more than 1 million subscribers. Wowza.

Across the ring, we have the cupcake-obsessed apparel company Johnny Cupcakes. This retailer has bakery-themed brick and mortar locations, as well as an online presence. Founded in 2001 by Johnny Earle, he was named  one of the “Best Entrepreneurs 25 and Under” by BusinessWeek in 2008. Sounds delicious.

Content Marketing vs. Content Marketing
I know, I know …  a little different than my previous cage matches, but I wanted to address the relevance and creativity of these marketers’ content marketing. Because if you’re going to do it, you better be doing it right.

First up is Birchbox with the subject line, “How to Use Your Eyeko Liquid Liner.” The subject line, by the way, is customized for me because I selected the eyeliner as a sample choice for my January subscription box. There was no question I was going to open this email (especially because I used to be a liquid eyeliner novice … though not anymore!)

Birchbox Content Marketing EmailBirchbox gets right to the point with copy reading big and boldy, “Squiggles No More.” Below is quick copy indicating that there’s a video tutorial to watch via the clickthrough over to the content page on Birchbox’s site. And honestly, nothing else really needs to be said. Take me to the video!

Birchbox video pageThe video tutorial, which clocks in at 1 minute and 36 seconds, sits above the fold, with the ability to “shop this story” conveniently to the right.

Below the video, Birchbox includes step-by-step text instructions to complement the video, as well as text and a link to its popular Beauty Essentials series, which covers beauty routine how-tos, ranging from basic to advanced.

So we have content in multiple forms, and notification of said content, customized for me, delivered to my inbox.

Birchbox, I like the cut of your jib.

Author: Melissa Ward

Melissa Ward is the managing editor for Target Marketing, and she has opinions! More importantly, she's a nerd for great copy and design, a disciple of authenticity, and really loves it when marketers get it right.

4 thoughts on “Creative Cage Match: Birchbox vs. Johnny Cupcakes”

    1. Don’t get me wrong, I love pizza…but before I watched that video and tried the product, my eyeliner game was on the level of a toddler. Thanks for reading!

    1. As am I! I love the subscription service, and I really appreciate all the videos and articles they have to support the beauty products.

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