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  • Writer's pictureIan Morris

The best brand voices

Brand voice example of a rabbit thinking "So do I eat a smoothie or drink a smoothie?"

Language is a powerful tool and smart brands use it as one of their key brand assets when building their brand voice. A brand’s voice should seep effortlessly through marketing, cutting through ‘noise’ from competitors and expressing a unique personality to their audience. Here are some examples of brands that got it right.

Virgin Media

Their brand voice feels:

• Tongue-in-cheek • Easygoing • Informal • Playful

The cheeky ‘Let’s get it on’ vans are a perfect example of playfulness whilst linking to their services. Their “audience is youthful, intelligent, and tech-savvy, and we like speaking to them in their own language.” In addition, the Usain Bolt adverts are just another example of how Virgin Media connect with their audience in a playful manner.

Example of Virgin's vans with messaging "Let's get it on."

Example of another Virgin Ad with message "A four times gold medal winner famous for blistering speed. And Usain Bolt"

Cancer Research

Their brand voice feels:

• Human • Direct and Personal • Authoritative, but friendly

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life is a series of events raising money for research into all types of cancer. I personally admire the campaign ‘Cancer, We’re Coming to Get You’. The empowering, direct language literally ‘runs’ through all their advertising. It was a much needed honest and direct campaign that approached the topic of cancer head-on. I loved how this campaign highlighted the positivity and power of people supporting one another and lift the lid on a topic that should be expressed openly.

Campaign "Cancer We're Coming To Get You"


Their brand voice feels:

• We are plainspoken • We are genuine • We are translators • Our humour is dry

When I think of brand language, there are a few champions that spring to mind – MailChimp being high on the list. Their approach is usually informal, offering offbeat humour and a conversational tone. MailChimp clearly has fun with their language and brings joyous imagery to its users. They summarise their language as being “weird but not inappropriate, smart but not snobbish. We prefer winking to shouting.

Mailchimp Tweet " We send 600 million daily emails like a golden retriever eats a plate of spaguetti"

Innocent Drinks

Their brand voice feels:

• Informal • Light-hearted • Quirky • Witty • Playful

One of the most well-known brands in language is Innocent Drinks and they are renowned as successfully being informal and friendly. They have distanced themselves from being a disconnected company by using language to converse colloquially with their customers. Examples such as “This recipe is a bit special” allows Innocent Drinks to come across as down to earth with its customers.

Comic-type of ad with a rabbit and a bottle of Innocent Drinks


Their brand voice feels:

• Playful • Witty • Sincere • Passionate

A personal favourite of mine, Spotify champion their brand language with unexpected, playful and witty statements as shown in the below examples. Their engaging ‘in-joke’ style really engages with its customers. I believe Spotify’s brand language became a brand language trendsetter of recent years.

Spotify metro Ad with a joke

Another ad from Spotify "The free app for people who want to fall in love with someone who is bad at love"

Ben & Jerry’s

Their brand voice feels:

• Fun • Authentic • Brave • A little controversial • Wacky

One of the most well known in brand language arena is Ben & Jerry’s. It all starts with their original brand values from which their business was based. The authentic and slightly controversial tone connects with people, the real core behind Ben & Jerry’s. I love how they engage the senses with scrumptious wording throughout all of their product descriptions. Take a look at the below example and tell me that you don’t want to devour the entire pot after reading that!

Ben & Jerry-s Packaging "Karamel Sutra Core"

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