Virgin is the pioneer of this type of thing with its conversational style. “We hope you’re having fun setting up in your new place. But before you plug in your telly, switch on your PC or pick up the phone, we’ve got big news for you!”
And where Branson has gone, others have followed.
Take, for example, Innocent Drinks: “Hello, we make lovely natural fruit drinks like pure fruit smoothies and fresh yoghurt thickies.”
Another drinks company, Firefly Tonics, has a website that’s positively dripping in it: “Websites are funny, aren’t they” I mean, you visit a site to find out something quick – then you find yourself rooting around behind the scenes – what’s really going on, who are these people…”
And now Orange is getting in on the act. They’re revamping their Kings Road store and they’ve got posters up with the slogan, "Hey, no peeking".
Next thing you know, the banks will be following suit. On the top of your statements will be something along the lines of:
“Hey Catherine! Someone’s been spending up big, haven’t they?! Your balance is x but because you’ve been such a good girl and have been saving loads and loads of lovely money, we’ve been able to give you x interest in the past month, which means you’ve got more money to spend on shoes! Woo hoo! HSBC xox”
What may have been cutting edge and irreverent five years ago is now plain annoying. You’re not cool and you’re not my friend! You’re the company I buy broadband/drinks/food/mobile phone services from and that’s it! Don’t try to pretend you’re "down with the kids".
There’s nothing wrong with trying to avoid being staid and boring, but my dear entrepreneurs, I beseech you: please find another way of doing this.