4 Things Designers & Marketers Can Learn From the Slap Chop Website (Yes, The Slap Chop Website)

We’ve all had restless late nights where we can’t sleep only to be greeted with the Slap Chop guy Vince. He’s chopping food and rambling on with unbridled enthusiasm. Yes he’s a little ridiculous and pretty cheesy. And yes, he’s been remixed. Hey, mock all you want. The original TV ad has been viewed nearly 400,000 times on Youtube. The remix has been viewed nearly two million times! How many times have your videos been viewed?

But this post isn’t about corny TV ads and remixes. It’s about shameless selling and what we – as designers and marketers – can learn from the Web version of all this slap-chopping madness: www.slapchop.com.

The more refined among us love to speak about how we “shape user experiences” and how we can more effectively market and message the masses. With the rise of new media, an elitism has been cultivated where we’re always looking forward for more innovative ways to market and connect with potential customers.

Guess what kids, Slap Chop is an example of what works for a massive demographic. If I sit my mom in front of the Slap Chop website, she’s gonna get it. She knows what it’s about and there is zero confusion about how to buy the damn thing.

So what can we learn from Slap Chop on the Web?

  1. No play button. As soon as you hit the site, Vince starts yapping away and the TV ad starts playing. Yes it’s a little obnoxious and a bit rude, but it works. Somebody actually chose to visit the site, start selling. Youtube changed videos on the Web by auto-playing.
  2. Big Obnoxious Text. The goal of Slap Chop on the Web is to get you to buy the product. Period. This is an impulse purchase. The Web is driven by impulses. You’ve got a few seconds and a sliver of attention bandwidth to work with. Punch the visitor in the mouth as soon as they get there. Forget paragraphs of explanatory text and detailed lists of features. Go big right out of the gate.

    slapchop-1

  3. Control the Narrative. When anyone lands on a Web page, they immediately begin digesting the information before them. Designers have a couple of choices to make. If we think: “This is a magazine ad!’’ we spend a lot of time organizing and structuring the information. If we think: “This is a TV ad!” well then it’s less about guiding the eye and structuring content. It’s about throwing content at the user. In the first 20 seconds of visiting the site, a handful of pitches fly by. Text is moving around and bouncing. Images are dropping in and sliding out. It’s a pretty annoying for me personally, but incredibly effective at taking hold of the storyline. It reminds me of the rat maze Ikea puts you on. You’re more or less forced to walk the path.
  4. Order Now. And I Mean Now! The Slap Chop site is a single purpose site. The whole sell and the purchase process happens right on that front page. You pretty much can’t escape the plea to “ORDER NOW” and clicking on it just takes you to an anchor at the bottom of the page with the actual order form. No other pages. No shopping carts. The pitch and the purchase process is all right here.

So there you have it, design and marketing tips from Vince. Yes, salespeople are slimy. Yes, the sales experience can be creepy. But there is something to be said for a clear, targeted direct message. When I was drawing up the landing page for TBUZZ, our latest from Arc90, I wanted to capture that simplicity and bigness. If only I’d had Vince to help me pitch it.

9 Comments 4 Things Designers & Marketers Can Learn From the Slap Chop Website (Yes, The Slap Chop Website)

  1. Chris Dary

    As much as I hate it, I agree – I see where the value is in this. The thing we as designers should do is try to take these lessons and integrate them into a better experience.
    One thing that I think would be useful: As the person begins filling out the form, maybe fade the commercial audio out, or down. It’s just a distraction from the conversion at that point.

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  2. Jem

    I had never heard of the slap chop before, but came away from the website thinking that it was a tool that could change my cooking habits – it’s only the fact that they don’t ship to the UK that stopped me from buying one.
    I now feel slightly silly for being so in awe of a bit of plastic and metal, but it definitely shows that you’re spot on correct.

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  3. Tyler Gaw

    I would have to disagree. (surprise, surprise)
    My complaints with the site lie in the aesthetic quality (read visual design) or lack thereof. I have nothing against shameless marketing and over-the-top pitching of your product. What I do have everything against is bullshit mediocrity, and that design is dripping with it. Most viewers will look at the site and not see the horrible gradients, the played-out, poorly done shiny surfaces, the rudimentary Flash timeline animations, and the myriad of other atrocities to skilled visual design. Does that mean that we as visual designers should stop striving to create designs that don’t look like they were created by Vince’s 13 year old cousin in his mom’s basement? Hell no!
    We should take a look at another product that might have sold just a few more units than the Slapchop, you may have heard about a little thing called the iPhone. http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/ All of the marketing surrounding the iPhone, and all of Apple’s products at that, are seeking to accomplish the same thing as the Slapchop, sell, sell, sell! The difference is that Apple is doing so in a classy, thoughtful way. They are not settling for the lowest common denominator in design (visual, among others) just because the majority of viewers will settle for it. I think they might be doing Ok, not sure? And they didn’t have to resort to lowering their design standards to the level of some goofball who knows how to use layer styles in a pirated copy of Photoshop 7.
    And yes, there is a grammar error on Tbuzz or was that a clever marketing ploy to draw attention? :)

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  4. Richard Ziade

    @Tyler:
    The title of this post is not: how to make a Web presence with aesthetic appeal. If you go back over the four tips – they’re not exclusive to an ugly, unattractive look.
    This is about appealing to a mass audience. This is about $19.95 (not hundreds of dollars in AT&T charges).
    This is about empathisizing with the unwashed masses and understanding how they think and how much it requires to grab their attention.
    A final thought: this thing is a piece of junk. An iPhone is awesome. The iPhone’s awesomeness is the reason it sells a ton (not Apple’s landing page for iPhones). My point is: this is good ol’ used car salesman tactics. Why not learn from it? And to your point…synthesize with the skills we have today.

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