Great Writing is Invisible – Breaking Down the Brilliance of the Poopourri script

There’s a video on the interwebs that’s (literally) exploding right now. If you haven’t seen Poopourri’s “Girls Don’t Poop”, check it out below.

Yes, it’s hilarious. Yes, it’s wonderfully executed. Yes, the dialogue is phenomenal (“I just birthed a creamy behemoth from my cavernous bowels”) . And yes the actress, Bethany Woodruff, delivers a performance that will most likely catapult her to Old Spice or Dollar Shave Club status.

But what’s easily overlooked by the viewer is the outstanding structure of the writing. How meticulous it is. It’s this attention to detail that sets the stage to make everything else seem effortless.

The first brilliant decision the writers make is the development of the character to dramatize the situation. They make the perfect choice to combat the issue of social embarrassment with a strong, comfortable, confident spokeswoman. So confident in-fact, that the viewer thinks “Wow. Not only does this girl poop, she tears the toilet apart. She even leaves skid-marks, and has no problem telling me about it.”

Within the first few frames, the video opens with a hook. Is that a girl sitting on the can? Did she just take a dump?

The writers immediately set out to identify a problem that needs to be solved: Girls Poop. Poop stinks. And for whoever generates the unpleasant aromas, awkwardness and social embarrassment await.

They address this embarrassment value head-on (pun not initially intended). In doing so, they instantly form a connection with the viewer: Yeah. I hate being in those situations. So just within the opening seconds, the viewer’s hooked.

But just to make sure that the viewer understands what they’re after, the writers directly address what’s at stake: Co-workers, friends, and even worse, your lover will think less of you if they associate you with the smell of poo. And certain situations hold more risk than others. “Nothing is worse than stinking up the shared toilet at work…”

The viewer agrees, thinking: “Nothing covers that up. So how do I avoid getting sniffed out?”

On queue, the writers establish what’s unique about their product. They point out that current odor removal solutions aren’t the solution. Spray cans are a terrible option. So once more, the viewer further invests themselves into Bethany’s plight.

As soon as they do, the writers impeccably time the introduction of the product: Poopourri.

Poopourri presents the solution to the stinky situation. It masks the smell. Then in one perfectly paced sentence, Bethany explains what the product is and how it can help the viewer. Pure and simple. No overly-elaborate exposition that might confuse them.

And now that they know the product’s intent, viewers think to themselves: Wait, what? Is that possible? How does Poopourri work? And the ballet continues as Bethany perfectly sums up in just 20 seconds how the product works.

And because the product description’s writing is so tight and playful, the viewer immediately thinks: Ummm… is this for real?

And as they demonstrate throughout, the writers execute perfect timing and address the issue head-on. They realize viewers will be skeptical that this is an actual product. “Yes. It is a real product…” And they reinforce that with the fact that they’ve already sold over 4 million bottles. Then for good measure, they include the fact that Poopourri stands by its product and refund their money if it doesn’t work.

Only after this perfectly walked tightrope do the writers ask viewers to take action by encouraging them to buy the product. This follows with a reminder that this product keeps them away from a potentially embarrassing situations, and like that… the business needs of the video are addressed.

As with every video, Poopourri’s information could have been presented any number of other ways. Lucky for us, it wasn’t. There was simply a chain reaction of outstanding decisions that brought this gem to life. But that’s the side effect of good writing. The tighter the script, the less people notice how brilliant it is.

Odds are before this video, you had no idea who or what Poopourri was. You weren’t alone. But like nearly 15 million others and counting, you do now.

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