In which we blog about the marvellous intricacies of writing and editing.

home               blog               team               work               contact

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Fictional Marketing: The Mystery Machine Gang

As Jon pointed out in his post 'Art vs Copy', marketing doesn’t have to be a chore. In this segment, we look at ways to boost the business profile of fictional characters. Many small businesses have a compelling tale to tell, but need to know how to communicate creatively, so the idea here is to play with exaggeration. These ideas are suitably quirky, given the fictional clients, but designed to work in the real world too.

This issue: everyone’s favourite meddling kids.

Uh, we're here about the implausible hooded vampire yeti...[1]

Like Copy That, the Mystery Machine Gang has its strength in numbers, and they sure know how to decorate a camper van. However, there's no 'I' in team and one member dominates the group’s branding:


Scooby Doo is a good mascot for many reasons. He’s an animal, he’s loveable and he talks (sort of). Ultimately, though, the gang’s USP is not dogsitting but solving paranormal mysteries, and Scooby isn’t the greatest Sherlock.

So let’s look at ways to get the band back together. We got some work to do now, after all.

There are five full-time members in the Mystery Machine Gang.

Velma Dinkley is the resident genius codecracker and clue solver. She knows Morse Code and has perfected a wrestling move called ‘The Flying Dinkley’.

Daphne Blake is a self-defence expert and lockpicker. She’s also the gang’s style guru, though don’t tell Fred that.

Fred Jones is the all-American leader of the group. He generally sticks to the same strategy (“Let’s split up, gang”) and designs traps for enemies.

Shaggy Rogers is Scooby Doo’s owner, and is often used as bait. Riddled with fear but fun-loving and food-obsessed.

Scoobert “Scooby” Doo is the gang’s mascot. He’s cowardly and gluttonous like Shaggy, but somehow triumphs over the bad guy nonetheless. Fond of dressing in drag.


OK. Let’s assume the gang has a serviceable website. So what content can we add to show clients what every member brings to the party?

1. Let’s kick off with a video introduction to each member, hosted from the gang’s YouTube channel. A sort of living Top Trumps deck of the gang. Released one by one, these intros will put faces to the work and engage clients looking for a range of skills.


2. Everyone loves How-To videos, so Daphne could capitalise on her “danger-prone” nickname and create a video tutorial on escaping capture. Similarly Fred could have a regular ‘MacGyver Time’ slot, showing viewers how to make their own bad-guy traps and hacks.

Undoubtedly part of some cunning Jones plan. [5]
3. Once the gang has built up a following, how about a peek inside the Mystery Machine? We'll just have to hope no embittered funfair owners are taking notes.

4. Let’s dispatch Fred to handle the Twitter scheduling, with retweets from each member’s individual account.

5. They could even let the unofficial intern, Scrappy Doo, on Twitter, and get the little firebrand composing 140-character missiles. Uncle Scooby might want to keep him on a short leash where trolls are concerned, though.


6. Blog content is obviously a great way to build SEO, and foster a community. How about these for some viable MM topics?

'Top Ten Ways to Spot a Villain', in which Daphne runs through the giveaways of latex masks and suspect body language/manic laughter.

Fred's (Scooby) dos and don'ts for good team-building and leadership under pressure.

And since Velma’s predictably intelligent relations include doctors, archaeologists and marine biologists, the team have plenty of subjects for interviews and guest posts!

7. Over on Pinterest, the gang could make a board for their ever-growing rogues’ gallery lists, and Daphne and Fred could compile their recommendations for chic-yet-practical adventurewear.


8. Meanwhile, voracious eater Shaggy could Instagram his epic recipes and Scooby Snacks-based canine versions. If this guy's food can convince perennial coward Scooby to face off against creepy ghouls, it must be good.


9. And if all else fails, the internet does love a dog video.


What ideas would you give Fred, Velma, Shaggy and Scoob to boost their baddy-busting business? Comment or tweet us via @HelloCopyThat.

NB: keep it clean; we've all seen the Velma fan-art.

Image credits: 
[1] CaptainJackHarkness, via deviantart
[2], [4], [8] and [9] via
[3] via
[5] Mike, via Flickr
[6] MrResponseClips, via YouTube
[7] via

With thanks to the fantastic Scoobypedia.

No comments: