By: Michiel Scheeren
Every now and then, you’re confronted with them; hypes that everyone tends to follow. Like you hear a nice phrase that has a beautiful ring to it and makes you think ‘I’m going to use that too!’. So far, I understand it.
In all probability, if it’s a phrase with a really nice ring to it, you’re not going to be the only that likes it. People, organisations, brands, before you know it everybody starts using the same phrase. Any time, everywhere. Call it over exposure. That’s a shame, because not only is that beautiful phrase suddenly not that original anymore, it also starts to work against you…
- We’re the ad agency that really understands you
- Because we understand that freelancers can’t miss a day of work
- At Sign&Media, we understand that your signage has to match your corporate identity
- At Van Winkoop, we understand that a mobile phone is part of your personality
- We understand how important your image is
- KRAS: we understand your destination
- Kwantum: that’s why we understand the real definition of living
- Nuon: you choose sustainability. We understand that.
Every time I see one of those ‘well-constructed’ phrases, I think ‘there’s another one. Simple, not given much thought and super annoying.’ And that could not be the intention of the writer of course. Communication needs to be clear, inspiring and trigger people to gather more information. So the fact that you understand your customers or target audience, is something you shouldn’t have to say. The have to feel it in their guts. It’s in the combination of telling something relevant that people want to hear, in an interesting way that makes them feel inspired. At Bovil we call this Fit & Trigger.
What I don’t understand is that ad agencies (and their clients) still come up with ‘empty’ words, taglines and slogans every time, despite the fact that they know what the outcome is. Admittedly, in some cases copywriters in ad agencies face an impossible job when they have to write down a distinctive tagline, heading or slogan. An example from one of our own clients, not long ago: ‘Basically, we’re the Coolblue of our market, so we want a slogan that is similar.’ Well, good luck with that.
In the positioning workshops that we organise I see it happen every time. The DNA, culture, philosophy, values, purpose etc, it all makes sense and is a logical process that clients can easily handle. But, when developing a pay-off, it often becomes much more difficult. The only brief an agency receives for developing a pay-off is more something like ‘Create a surprising pay-off’. And that’s it. Jokes, paradoxes, synonyms; everything can be used to create that surprising pay-off, as long as it’s different. Even though nobody understands it.
Sure; a phrase is just a phrase, but what really matters is the story behind it. When a pay-off is spot-on and relevant (so it appeals to a real insight), the target audience will automatically embrace it. And when that pay-off is creative and ‘fun’ at the same time, that’s a nice-to-have.
Bovil. Think it simple!.
That one I understand!