Friday, February 20, 2015

Watch the Language!

As a speaker, I am increasingly aware of both the power of the spoken word but also the dangers.  That is to say, a badly delivered message can be harmful to one's brand.  You hear it said often (and correctly) that a job candidate benefits from a better vocabulary and proper English.  What is not often said is how this same effect can ruin advertising.

I have seen and read far too many ads that pitch the ball too low.  The language is sloppy.  There's too much vernacular, or lazy contractions, or phony voice tones.  I suppose the advertiser imagines that all sounds "folksy" or is how their customers speak.  Well, maybe.  But it also sends a message that the advertiser is not playing their best game and may even connote that they have a low opinion of the viewer/listener/reader.  I will be upfront is saying that ads that have "poor speaking" disconnect me from the advertiser: I am less likely to give them my custom.

It all comes back to the brand.  What do you want your brand to be? and how do you want to be perceived by the customer?  Only after giving this hard thought should the ad be cut.

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