Amazingly, superlatives can kill a marketing message.

Have you ever heard the saying, “… when everyone’s super, no one will be…?”* The same goes for your marketing message. When every word buzzes, none of them will. Just listen to the advertising noise out there. Everything’s revolutionary. Everything’s exclusive. Everything’s mindblowing. Without the moderation of voice, your prospects look at your marketing with a glimpse of skepticism and doubt.

Put down the megaphone and engage in a way that engenders trust…while using appropriate levels of emphasis. ** Here’s how:

Be Mindful of Your End-User

One problem with “buzz” words is that they homogenize your market. They fail to be mindful of the individual that they’re speaking to. In essence, “buzz” words say the same thing to everyone and carry no unique message. One way to overcome this issue is to understand your end-user, and always keep them in mind. Once you achieve this, you’ll discover words that “buzz” uniquely. And once that happens, endearing your specific market with market-specific superlatives can become a powerful tool in your advertising arsenal.

Moderate your tone

All things in moderation, right? It’s not about saying less stuff. It’s about speaking with finer measures. Identify the “buzz” words that sneak into your headlines, that crawl into your subheads and slip into your body copy. Decide where and when to evaluate a more personal and pointed way to express your message. In the end, your reader will be conscientious of your efforts, especially when other marketers are bombarding them with “buzzers.”

Use Superlatives with Tact

Have you ever noticed the person that people tend to listen to the most is the person that speaks the least? “Buzz” words are no different. When they’re used with both moderation and while being mindful of your end-user, then the appropriate “buzz” word at the right time can have an explosive and positive reaction. Be tactful with them. Have a strategy in your copy that leads a reader to a “buzzer” with subtlety and grace. Make it a literary climax when they reach a “buzz” word.

There’s a difference between “talking at” a market, and “speaking to” them. Used without the proper marketing candor “buzz” words will only achieve the prior. As marketers, being aware of this and discovering the optimum way to “buzz” a reader, will determine the success of any campaign.

An example: read these two versions of a non-skid carpet ad and ask yourself which ad is 1. Mindful of the end-user, 2. Moderates its tone and 3. Uses superlatives with tact… and which ad just insults your intelligence?

Copy Option #1: Backed by months of scientific engineering, you can get this innovative and exciting new Floor-Tite Non-Skid roll mat sure to drastically improve the look and safety of your household with absolute ease and convenience!

Copy Option #2: We all have household concerns, especially surrounding our loved ones. The Floor-Tite Non-Skid roll mat will make your home safer for all members of your family, young or old. And it’s easy to install.

Hear the buzzing?


Contributed by Nick Keller

* As stated by the evil villain Syndrome in the 2004 Pixar blockbuster, The Incredibles. ** From Hexatrope™, a marketing awareness resource. Taken from the blog entry, “Inflated Marketing Language Decreases in Value”, Nov. 20, 2013

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