Creative Scriptwriting and Copywriting

Archive for May, 2010|Monthly archive page

Super, smashing…

In copywriting, Uncategorized, writing on May 25, 2010 at 10:20 am

As a professional writer I am always on the look-out for the next corporate cliché: this year’s Passion or Solutions.

And there’s one word I’m keeping an eye on that’s really starting to grate.

Great.

In some ways, great is a great word. It’s upbeat and enthusiastic, yet modest and self-effacing.

You can see why a corporate world which increasingly is trying to position itself as approachable and human would latch onto great.

Companies that tell you they have superlative, class-leading, exemplary solutions sound boastful and arrogant.

Companies that tell you they make great products or – two new clichés for the price of one –  great content, sound down-to-earth and chatty.

But there’s also something vacuous and hollow about great in this context. Great is quite a big assertion, not a vague label of quality. Churchill was great. St Paul’s Cathedral is great. George Best was great.

Chances are, you don’t make great websites (Hey – so why not try making one for yourselves?), or great coffee (Nescafe? Really?). If you are La Scala or Carnegie Hall, it may be appropriate to call yourself the Home of Great Music. Are you overselling yourself just a little if you make the same claim for your radio station in Mansfield?

Trust me, your B2B interactive digital marketing solutions aren’t that great. If they are useful, successful or easy-to-use then that’s pretty good, so why not say they are useful, successful or easy-to-use?

(We have been here before, of course:  Great! Super!)