This post by Concept Group copywriter Matt Connell originally appeared on the Business Marketing Association (BMA) of Minnesota blog on 11/16/15.
Replacing tired terms in your marketing vocab.
Every writer has done it. Whether it’s in an email, tweet, website or advertising copy, we’ve all found ourselves relying on words and terms that have run their course. Maybe a new toothbrush with an extra weird shape was “innovative,” or a slightly less boring loan application process was a real “game changer.”
The problem with these words, aside from often causing actual physical pain to both writer and reader, is that they are neither innovative nor game changing. They aren’t always the most accurate descriptors, either. It’s not anyone’s fault, because when it comes to applying these terms to the business world in which you live, they can fit… sometimes. Luckily there are some easy ways to put a little pepper into your word pot.
Sometimes all you need to do is ask.
Any creative team, ad agency or marketing firm you’ll ever work with to help produce ad campaigns, email blasts, websites, brochures, etc. simply wants to do fun and creative work. But more importantly, they want to please you, the client. With that said, by giving your creative partners the go-ahead to strive for vibrant new lingo, you open the door for eye-catching, memorable work and increased brand/business awareness. Plus, you just might have some fun in the process, and your relationship with your partners could be stronger because of it.
Always know what’s “on fleek.”
When choosing a marketing agency, no one can put a price on the wisdom that comes with experience. Still, there’s a lot to be learned from what those whippersnappers are up to. So many young creatives are brimming with vibrant ideas and new, often profound ways of thinking. Luckily for businesses everywhere, they’ve helped create a new colorful vocabulary from which we can borrow. So, by keeping in mind the latest kid-speak, you can start taking your corporate voice in virtually unlimited directions.
“This app is very informative and interesting.” becomes “This app is tight.”
“This style of automobile is no longer popular.” becomes “This ride is played.”
“Please stop behaving in an over-eager manner.” becomes “Chill.”
Merriam-Webster has created The Open Dictionary
for words and terms too new to have made their way into the actual dictionary.
Don’t be afraid to take a risk.
Try to remember, if you’re worried whether pushing for bold vocabulary in your marketing copy is worth it, the worst thing that can happen is that it might not work out. At the very least you will have tried, and beyond that, you’ll be planting the seeds of new thinking and new possibilities for the future. You might even begin to see your own business in a new light that leads you to your ultimate goal: money.
Meredith Vaughan has some great insights
on acceptable risks in advertising for Ad Age Magazine.
Of course these are merely a couple suggestions out of the practically endless possible ways to utilize new words and terms, and the tried and true words and phrases of the marketing industry still have their place for a long time to come. But one thing’s for sure: at some point, some great wordsmiths are going to come along and be real game changers by adding catchy, ultra-descriptive new words into our everyday lexicon, forever altering our collective marketing language. Don’t be salty because you missed out.
Matt Connell was born in Beloit, Wisconsin in 1978, and according to his calculator, that makes him 36 years old. Matt, being the creative type, always doodling and jotting things down, knew copywriting was the perfect gig for him. So, he clawed and scratched his way into the industry, and in the few short years of his ad career he’s become known for his far-out ideas and oft-unconventional vocabulary. He has experience with iconic brands such as 3M, Jamba Juice, and Mosaic among several others, and is now working to make new brands come alive at Concept Group in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he hopes to blow minds with cool ideas and ultra-engaging copy for years to come.