Speaking as a copywriter, there’s a dirty little secret we don’t want the rest of you to know: Sometimes we’re lazy. Not every print advertisement can be the literary equivalent of Ulysses, because there’s just not enough billable time to accomplish that. (James Joyce had seven years to write that book; I only have an hour allotted to me.) So from time to time, we cut corners by falling back upon trite cliches and phrases that have already been used thousands of times before in advertisements for all kinds of other things not limited to what we are ourselves advertising. So, as a means of penance, I humble myself before you today and provide a list of phrases that I myself, along with thousands of other copywriters, have used in the past. We are very sorry, and we promise to stop using them just as soon as we can think of some better ones. Which is hopefully soon.
For all of your _____ needs! Truth be told, the human body really only needs a handful of things – oxygen, food, water, sleep, shelter. As such, when you tell me that you are able to serve all of my balpene hammer needs, I can scoff at that statement secure in my knowledge that I do not actually need a balpene hammer in order to survive, although it would certainly be helpful.
You’ve been asking for it, and we’ve listened! That’s strange. I don’t recall asking for a taco folded inside a pizza and covered with nacho cheese, and yet here we are.
Where we treat you like family! Considering the way I sometimes treat my family and way they treat me in turn, this doesn’t seem like a terribly enticing proposition.
Fast, efficient service! I kind of already expect this without you having to promote it.
You have to see it to believe it! Thank you ever so much for assuming I lack the ability to comprehend something that isn’t directly in front of me.
Locally owned and operated! Unless you’ve figured out how to operate your business with a robot via remote control from several hundred miles away, it’s safe for me to assume that your locally owned business is also operated in that same location.
Trained professionals! There’s a different kind of professional besides a trained one? How do you accidentally became a professional?
We pass the savings onto you! Neat. Are you also planning on passing your overages onto me as well?
From your friends at _______! It turns out that there is actually a sizable percentage of your client base who don’t feel like they want to be friends with you. They’re really more comfortable keeping things at the casual acquaintance level. And that’s okay! Friendship takes a lot of commitment and energy to maintain. If your customer wants to keep things a little more casual, why discourage it? Besides, you already have enough friends.
Last chance to save! So you’re never planning on having affordable pricing ever again? How exactly are you planning on staying in business?
Serving the _____ area for ___ years! Nothing personal, but there’s a very good chance nobody cares about this other than you.
New and improved! By and large, it’s very difficult to make improvements to something without turning it into something that is different than what it was previously. It’s just science.
Any statement that ends in an exclamation point! Could you please stop yelling at me, print advertisement? I’m literally right here in front of you.
So now that we have all of these phrases together in one place and listed out in a blog entry, I think it’s safe to see that we, as a society, are no longer under any urgency to use any of them ever again. Don’t we all feel more advanced as a culture now? Way to go, us.
Erik Hagen is a copywriter and social media writer for KK BOLD. He’s been serving the Bismarck-Mandan area for 15 years.