I know, I know, sugar is bad for you but it tastes so much better…sweeter, without that funky after taste.
You know what else has a funky after taste? Stiff copy. Words that sound like an application from Discover:
“We are happy to introduce the preferred members service to accommodate your shopping needs now and in the future.”
That’s the written equivalent of a sweet ‘n low packet. It’s trying to be real but isn’t.
Formal copy isn’t modern. Not to mention, it feels fake – forced. Today, copy can sound professional and conversational at the same time.
Take one of my favorite campaigns from Apple.
Think Different was a huge success not because it was grammatically correct – imagine if someone came back and said “the correct way of saying that is a Think Differently” – but because it made us wonder. And because it didn’t sound like a pinstriped-suit-and-tie.
The simplest way to do that in your writing is by relaxing your words a little. Instead of saying you are, try you’re. Replace that is with that’s. And don’t forget to toss in a few wanna’s, gonna’s and shoulda’s because that’s how you’d probably say things in real life.
But what about grammar?
Respect it but don’t let it get in the way of making a statement that’s got some panache. Some punch. Some wonder. If you can imagine it printed on a coffee mug that’s featured on Sara Blakelys #mondaymugshot post, it’s worth keeping.
What makes copy sweet is what makes any relationship sweet; easy on the eyes, music to the ears, easy to talk to, feels real.
What kind of copy do you respond most to? Also, did you guess my answer?