Lorem Ipsum: A Marketing Opportunity

DIY Lorem Ipsum. It's a fun team-building exercise. Moreover, it's good branding. As marketers, we're always helping our clients to reinforce their brands in many ways. We also try to take our own advice now and again, and apply our methods to our own shops. Here is a mini case study about a cool marketing opportunity you can use. While working on a project, the team here at Inbox Communications got to thinking about Lorem Ipsum, the placeholder content that is part of the drafting stage of most of our creative work. 


What's with all the Latin-ish text?


Lorem Ipsum is generally dummy text used in laying out print, graphic design or website design. It is used because it appears as a natural looking block of text and  it doesn't distract the viewer when reviewing the design elements of a layout.


For a long time it was considered to be Latin-looking gibberish. The words loosely approximate the rate at which letters appear in typical English so it looks quite realistic. However, now the passage is generally attributed to an unknown 15th century typesetter who is thought to have scrambled the text of Roman philosopher Cicero's De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum (On the Extremes of Good and Evil.) He did so to mock up various fonts for a type specimen book. The passage begins as follows:


"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua."


The passage experienced a surge of publicity in the 1960s after a French lettering firm, Letraset, used it in a variety of fonts, sizes and layouts on their dry-transfer sheets. These sheets of lettering could be rubbed on anywhere and quickly became popular with artists, graphic designers, architects and printers because of their ease-of-use and their professional appearance. There was another surge of publicity in the 1990s when Aldus Corporation (which later merged with Adobe) used it as dummy content for laying out page content in Aldus Pagemaker. A small company called Microsoft followed suit and the rest is history. Now Lorem Ipsum is ubiquitous as a placeholder in the digital landscape (and painfully sometimes in the final draft. Reminder: proofread and proofread again.)


There is a debate about whether or not to use dummy text during the design process. Lorem Ipsum advocates believe it is an essential planning tool while others argue that it promotes design over content. The strength of Lorem Ipsum is actually its pervasive weakness. It doesn't say anything. There is nothing in Lorem Ipsum that will detract you from analyzing the proposed formats, fonts, colours and layout of your proposal. Using proper copy can result in a discussion about content when the discussion should only be about design. The anti-dummy text folks argue that the user experience is driven by words and it is silly to pretend otherwise. They argue that by using Lorem Ipsum, you are reducing the importance of your content to the level of your design instead of using your design to highlight the meaning of your content.


Of course, there are many people who have taken liberties with the standard "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet" text by creating all kinds of modifications and versions. You'll find dozens of them with a simple Google search. Most alternative text generators are funny—really funny. (That makes them kind of fun to read, which really distracts from the layout and puts them at cross purposes with the original Lorem Ipsum dummy text intent).


When working on projects, these are the top 3 random text generators that Inbox Communications uses most often.




Bacon Ipsum


This is billed as "A Meatier Ipsum" with words such as tail, rump, turducken, spare ribs and capicola. We here at Inbox HQ use it often enough that we thought we'd give a little nod to it here. Try Bacon Ipsum


Hipster Ipsum


This is "artisanal" filler text that's filled with pop culture references, hipster meccas and beer namesdirect trade, avocado toast, copper mug. This text generator puts the "ace" in placeholder! Try Hipster Ipsum


Bullshit Ipsum


This text generator is full of buzzwords, doublespeak and jargon. While providing filler for in-progress projects, this ipsum generator also serves as a reminder to keep our language cliché-free, lest we over-synergize monetized paradigms ;-) Try Bullshit Ipsum


There are many other lorem ipsum hacks including Legal Ipsum, Cat Ipsum, Cupcake Ipsum, Corporate Ipsum, and, of course, Bob Ross Ipsum (trees are nice people).


Given that knock off Lorem Ipsum generators bring a reader's focus to the text now and again, we at Inbox Communications had a thoughtding! Why not create our own placeholder text to underscore our own brand? When providing drafts to clients, we could include our very own meaty, artisanal buzzword-feed.


We started brainstorming words of various character lengths to come up with sample paragraphs that we could include in our client briefs.  Below is an example of Inbox Ipsum:


Rock star inbound marketing agency, digital strategy, creative, sharing-economy, market-customization, inbound team. Next-tech solution-oriented partners, pop, disruptive, brand brainstorm and exhale. Ideas, value statements, people, organizations, the world! Get up, get down, turn around, hey, sis-boom-bah.


Talking about our company's values in this fun way became an excellent accidental team-building activity. It also helped to reinforce our brand with our clients. We still use Lorem Ipsum but some days we also create Inbox Ipsum. Boom, and breathe!



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Topics: Websites, Content Marketing

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