Well, women all know the feeling before waxing – the main wish is to get through it as rapidly as we can, with as little pain as we can. And this is what this billboard promises with the very clever use of “on and off”- instead of saying it will be fast and painless.
Demonstration is better than description
In sales writing one of the challenges is to demonstrate and explain processes, services, results with words instead of showing it. If people can observe something it is always more powerful than reading or listening to an explanation about it. In the above example, if I go to the salon, and see how quick it is, I would be impressed.
Picture made of words
Fortunately, words can also do that: with expressions which make us feel the impact instead of understanding and analysing it. If I say fast, it can be anything from 1 second to a few minutes or an hour depending on what process I am talking about. But expressions like ‘with a click of a button‘ imply that you just push a button and it happens, A more powerful way of saying ‘You can order online fast and easy’.
The same thing happens with ‘the blink of the eye’ – we all know it is one second and unconsciously imagine this blink and fell the speediness. The ‘on and off’ example just does the same: in one second the was is there, and in the other it is not.
As easy as 1,2,3
‘As easy as 1,2,3’ or ‘as easy as abc’ are again great picture-expressions: as we read them we feel how fast it is, and feeling is always stronger than any other understanding.
Be careful: it is not the same as idioms. If I say ‘as easy as pie’ – which is a widely known idiom for being easy – nobody will think of an actual pie, or nobody will feel the easiness. Idioms are also great elements in writing, but in this case, will not have the same impact of showing a picture in our head.
From a great night to goodnight
This Uber ad is displayed on the tube and aims to draw the attention to their better and quicker alternative for late night party-goers. And as discussed above it plays with the “great night – goodnight” word-picture, much much better than “get to your bed in 18 mins”. The good-great word couple can be used the other way round in slogans, headlines: ‘good for you, great for your children‘. Or ‘good people, great results’. Or an actual slogan of Eden Eco Solutions: ‘Good for your business. Great for our world.’
Note, by the way, using a non-round number (18) as the length f the journey. We pay attention and believe more numbers which are not round, so it becomes more credible. Even if in the example it is completely hypothetical, just wants to suggest a very short period.
We take only ‘Wow’ as an answer
If you provide services – like we do with content – we all know there are three types of reactions from our clients when we show them our work. They either say – hopefully in a very rare case – ‘no, this is not something I wanted’, or they say, ‘Fine.’ And the best is when they are impressed, and say ‘Oh wow, this is better than I imagined.’ Instead of writing on our website that we work until our clients are satisfied, why couldn’t we say: ‘We work until you say Wow.’
Use a few of these word-pictures in your copy and it will be more powerful and will clearly demonstrate what you are saying.
Words and photo by Timea Kadar, Global Head of Content at ContentBonum