Why Good Copy Is Like a Goonies Character

The Goonies reading a map together

Don’t know why, but for the last few days the closing song in ‘The Goonies’ credits – Cyndi Lauper ‘The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough’ – has been swirling round my head. Loved the 80s – everyone does – but even for me these are mysterious goings on!

So with the hapless Goonies on my brain while I bashed away at my keyboard, I started to realise that a good piece of copy is a bit like a Goonies character.

If you’re thinking ‘Oh God, not another analogy post’, be thankful I didn’t compare it to warm apple pie and let’s get started.


Mikey, the leader of The Goonies
Going for cute, I’ll bet!

Mikey…. he’s the leader of the group, the one that drives the other Goonies forward. He sells them the idea of going to find One-Eyed Willie’s treasure and then leads the way.

And your copy should be the same. You should be steering your reader through the text until they reach the end of their content adventure.

Break the copy with logical headings so its easy to read and transitions seamlessly from point to point.

Don’t make the reader think too hard. Show them the way.


Mouth of the Goonies
Check out that slickback!

Mouth…. yeah, he’s the gobby one (but it made Corey Feldman a star and I’m sure we all thanked Hollywood for casting him later in ‘The Lost Boys’!).

I’m not saying your copy should be loud like Mouth, but it should put across your message confidently, yes. You can hear Mouth as loud as a bell and he doesn’t pussyfoot around in his communication.

Make your copy confident, too. Try to avoid words like ‘might’ or ‘perhaps’ and, instead, back up your claims with research. If you don’t believe in the product or the service, neither will your customer.

Be confident, just like Mouth.


Data from the Goonies
Go gadget arms or something like that!

He’s the cool sidekick kid in ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’ – easily the best of the Indiana Jones movies – but ‘The Goonies’ casts him as the geeky, tech nerd of the group.

It’s true he’s funny with all his quirky, malfunctioning gadgets, but the point is, he was inventing them to solve problems.

When a customer is browsing through your website, checking out what you’ve got to offer, they have a need. They’ve come to your website and are hoping you’ll have all the answers.

Make it happen for them in your copy. Tell them how you can solve their problem, how you can make life easier for them. Back it up with examples – seeing is believing, after all.

Just do a better job than Data and actually solve the problem!


Chunk from the Goonies standing at the front gate
Love the shirt!

Chubby, badly dressed, comical…. This kid is great! Even the baddies end up liking him.

He’s just so damned engaging!

Engagement is a must. If you want to sell something to a website video or want them to keep reading your content, you can’t be boring.

Present your copy in an interesting visual format (like Chunk’s loud shirt!). Be expressive. Show some personality.

That’s what made Chunk likeable.

Be like Chunk – but go easy on the ice cream (unless you’re promoting ice cream, of course!)!

Is it good enough for you (ayayayayayayayaa)?

Where are all the rest? Where’s Brand? Where are Stef and Andy? And most of all, where is the mighty Sloth?!

Well, that’s the final lesson. The analogy has gone as far as it could (you hung on in there, little buddy. Proud of ya!) and to apply it to more characters would make it feel hideously contrived and just plain weak.

Better to cut it short than to leave your reader slogging it out to the digital death with filler text. Whether you’re writing sales copy or a blog post, you should always be helpful and engaging in some way.

If you’ve got nothing more to say, then, er, don’t waste space saying what you’ve not got to say! (Did you catch all that?)

I’m gonna sign off just now, but just in case you were wondering what The Goonies theme tune did sound like, here it is in all its kitsch-tasticness.

Enjoy (if that’s possible)!

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