View Twitter chat schedule: #SMTLive

Great Copywriting in Action: Iron Man

Who doesn’t love Iron Man?

Okay, so maybe a portion of the population isn’t huge on Marvel Comic characters or movies. I get it. It’s okay if you're one of those folks. But I beseech you to take just ten minutes out of your busy schedule to step into my office here in geek world today.

I promise this will only take ten minutes, and you will walk away inspired.

Still with me? Good!

I used to think that in order for something to be dubbed ‘great copywriting,’ it had to be old. It had to have roots that stretched back to some great literary work of art from before I (or most of my audience) was born. I tried my best to not associate great copywriting with my inner geek because in my professionally bred mind, that just wasn’t the best way to reach readers. And then…then I had an Iron Man movie marathon with my Marvel Comic addicted family and I realized just how much Iron Man has taught me.

Iron Man Owned It

What made Iron Man dynamically different from every other superhero to walk the Earth? He revealed his identity at the end of his first movie in 2008! In this goose bump raising scene that, dare I say, every single one of us can connect with, he says he’s not the “hero type” due to his “laundry list of character defects” and all the mistakes he’s made in public:

When told to stick to his cue cards during this news conference, he picks up the cards and reads, “The truth is,” pauses in a moment that embodies an epiphany moment, and says, “I am Iron Man.” Do you know what Tony Stark did right there? He owned it! And he continued to do so in the three sequels and Avenger movie that followed.

Never be afraid to own who you are and the content it inspires in all it’s crazy, eccentric, mistake filled, awesomeness. It took me years to learn this lesson, and it’s something everyone can benefit from. Don’t be afraid to own it, and don’t be afraid of making mistakes.

Iron Man Was Human

Beneath all the metal of Iron Man was Tony Stark, a human being full of character defects. He was just as susceptible to life as you and I, and we saw this clearly in Iron Man 3. The movie, which took place after the events in the box office hit, The Avengers, gave us a glimpse of a man wrestling with what was clearly post-traumatic stress. Iron Man 3 gave us the best yet glimpse at the man in the metal, and it brought us a little closer to Stark’s character.

What’s the takeaway point? Show your audience your humanity. You don’t have to be all business, all the time. People want that human connection, that side of you that they can relate to and connect with. It’s your story that makes you unique. Tell it. Don’t shy away from using your content to connect emotionally, even intimately, with your audience. It’s honesty and humanity that forge the bonds of loyalty.

Iron Man Knew When Teamwork Worked

In The Avengers, Iron Man joins a team of Earth’s mightiest heroes. Together, they must work together to stop the latest threat to Earth, a demi-god named Loki. The team has an exceedingly rough time working together at the beginning because each of these superheroes is accustomed to flying solo. But in the end, in this epic scene that makes my inner geek jump up and down, Iron Man admits that although the team had a rough start, they are going to stop Loki’s sinister planetary takeover:

The lesson to glean is that even Tony Stark, a playboy who seriously did not play well with others, knew when to yield. Sometimes teamwork makes something a hundred times better and turns a calculated failure into a life and business changing (even saving) event.

When it comes to content, you don’t have to fly solo. In fact, the sooner you accept that you shouldn’t, the better. If you want the greatest copywriting on the Internet in action on your website, you’ll need to leverage a team of experts from marketers to copywriters.

There’s no shame in yielding to a team approach. In all likelihood, it’ll be the smartest move you make. Team environments alleviate stress and spread responsibilities, thus supporting higher productivity and efficiency. The end product is greatness, even if you’re not a superhero!

For the Sake of Great Copywriting, Take A Chance…

…and try something new. If you haven’t seen the Iron Man movies, live a little and give them a watch. I guarantee you’ll walk away feeling inspired. And I promise, we’ll keep this moment of “geek out” between us!

Image source:


Join The Conversation

  • Aug 28 Posted 2 years ago Rowana77

    Great thoughts, Julia!  I too love Iron Man, and never thought to connect him with what we do every day in PR and social media, but you are absolutely right.  RDJ has made him into one of the most complex characters in movies, who continues to develop and grow as the movies go along.  And you're right - he's the only one who OWNS himself and his identity, and has made that oneness part of him.  I always shake my head at people who only see Tony's supposed "arrogance" (or RDJ's) -- the character is so full of flaws, so human, so deeply conflicted, that his sometime arrogance is just another armor he throws over himself to protect his him.  (Which is a metaphor that's kind of the whole point of "Iron Man.")  The story arc, up through IM3, has been Tony trying to accept that HE - the genius inventor, the human being - IS Iron Man.  Iron Man is not the suits -- he can always build more suits.  The very human Tony Stark, who has grown and changed and learned so much, is the real hero.  And that will always make him the most interesting superhero ever created.

Webinars On Demand

  • May 09, 2017
    With all of the technologies available to marketers today, have we lost that personal touch? Join VP of Content Marketing for ON24, Mark Bornste...
  • April 05, 2017
    In the ever-changing world of digital marketing, operational efficiency, quick turn-around times, testing and adapting to change are crucial to...