Several times recently, I have read people describing an income they receive as being enough to pay their mortgage each month. Of course, depending on the size of their mortgage, this figure could be £50, £500, £5,000 or more – It’s completely meaningless.
It reminded me of an advertisements we had in the UK for a brand of milk chocolate, which had “a glass and a half of full cream milk” in every bar; however, they never told us how big the glass was! Again, it was meaningless.
A skilled marketing copy writer can use their words much like a skilled magician uses their hands. Magicians use slight-of-hand to create the illusion of magic. They guide our attention so that we only see what they want us to see. If their trick works, we believe we have seen something, which actually never happened.
In marketing, we can use slight-of-word, to create an illusion too. We can guide people’s thinking, so that they believe what we want them to believe. If the marketer’s trick works, most people will assume the mortgage fee is five hundred or five thousand a month and that the chocolate had a pint and a half of full cream milk in it.
Use marketing copy writing that makes your product or service sound as attractive and valuable as you possibly can, but leave the illusions to the magicians.
You see, we all know that the guy with the magic wand, who pulls rabbits out of a hat, is deliberately trying to trick us. That’s what he or she is supposed to do! However, unless you are a paid illusionist, your reputation could take a hit, if people find you tricking them into believing something that is, in essence, false. That’s why the most skilled marketing copy writers embrace clarity. They use words to enhance, rather than conceal.
Where do you think the line should be drawn?
Would you rather know that the bar of chocolate had half a pint of milk in it, or “a glass and a half”? Would you rather the marketer told you that he or she made several hundred dollars a month from their wonder product, or that it “pays their mortgage”, which could mean anything? If you bought into the marketer’s pitch, and then found he or she was actually referring to fifty dollars a month, would you feel they had been honest with you?
Let me know what you think!
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