How often have you read about a product or service that included the words passionate, stunning, outstanding, the ultimate. Grates on your nerves doesn’t it?
Not that there’s anything wrong with using superlatives it’s the lazy use of the same old unoriginal, clichéd and actually rather boring words that I find annoying. They are often inappropriate too, for example would you want your product to astonish or shock (someone) so that they are temporarily unable to react? Or worse, knock them unconscious? Yet they are the dictionary definitions of stunning.
I accept that, to some degree, marketing-speak has to be a bit on the positive side (although there was an estate agent who made a name for himself, and got a lot of press coverage, by taking the opposite tack describing houses as they really were including less attractive features). But what I can’t stand is lazy writers who just bash out copy after reaching for their well-worn book of superlatives, flipping it open at any old page and typing without a second thought (or a first thought come to that).
OK, coming up with original ways to describe something that you are trying to sell might be very hard, but in that case, surely it’s better to stick with more down to earth, honest words that your audience can believe in rather than over-hype and risk being a laughing stock.
By way of example, what would make you more inclined to buy:
We are passionate about delivering boxes
Delivering boxes on time is really important to us
Stunning new garden shed available
Robust, practical new shed design
The ultimate in cat brushes
A cat brush that won’t leave hairs all over your clothes
The ultimate business software
Business software that really does what you want it to
Let’s have some original thinking!