It’s only a damn tea-towel!

I’m all for a bit of hyperbole in copywriting. If you can’t get excited about a product you’re marketing, how can you expect anyone else to interested on it?

Whether your product is going to set the world on fire or quietly improve people’s lives, you need to describe it in terms that will make people realise its benefit, rather than its mere function.

Having said that, there are limits. Over do it and you risk jumping the proverbial shark. For simple products, concentrate on how well they do the job, don’t invent new benefits that are tangential to the item’s main function. This pack of tea towels is a great example.
Tea towels

“Producing agreeable sensations, gentle and melodious.”

There’s just no need for this. The tea-towels were good, but not that good. I’m able to report that drying up is no more pleasurable with these tea-towels then it was before.

In this case, it doesn’t really matter. The decision to buy was driven by the fact that they were the only tea-towels in the shop. But the principle remains: sell the benefits. I don’t care about microfibres or agreeable sensations (at least not as far as the washing up is concerned).

Statements like these are often the result of people being to close to a product. A simple statement has a thesaurus thrown at it and becomes nonsense. It’s an easy mistake to make, especially up against a deadline or after rewriting the phrase for the umpteenth time.

Keep an eye out for these little gems. They can be powerful reasons for a customer to buy your product, or a reason for your writing to become an example of daft copy on a marketing blog!

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About Sam Elfer

Blogging about writing
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