Copywriting is the business of misleading people to buy things they don’t need with the money they don’t have.
Well it’s not that we copywriters tell outright lies to convince people. Sometimes it’s just about too much fluff.
While most of my clients these days understand that effective communication involves a clear, concise message with a touch of personal warmth, I do get enquiries to work on the old ‘catchy-punchy-juicy’ stuff.
I tend to steer clear from these kinds of requests because, well, the fluff isn’t all that convincing. We’re dealing with young, smart consumers whom are becoming increasingly averse to marketing speak and vague catchphrases.
We’ve all seen those websites, brochures, corporate profiles or even mail drops that are full of meaningless superlatives, mindless ramblings and generic ‘industry’ word play. That’s either a sign of a novice copywriter or a client unwilling to adapt to evolving consumer mindset.
Consumers just want you to tell it as it is so they can then decide whether to do business with you. Besides, none of us want to nor have the time to make sense of textual mumbo jumbo.
If you still want to take the fluffy route, beware of these pitfalls:
Can you deliver as promised?
Fluff raises consumer expectations, and they expect you to deliver as fluffed. Can you?
Bye-bye repeat business
Once fluffed, twice shy. When all that fluff falls flat, the customer goes to your competitor.
Risk of attracting negativity
We live in a very social world. One disgruntled customer can start a negative crusade against your business.
Even if telling it as it is goes against convention, your product or service can still shine through and appeal to your intended target audience. A case in point is a company in Wisconsin, USA that tells the absolute truth, even it may result in some consumers not buying their product.
Ahhh… I wish I wrote that.