Being friendly and good isn’t special. It’s normal. It’s expected.
Today, I give you a foolproof test that will determine if you are saying interesting things in your advertisements. The primary job of an ad is to convince me that your company is offering something I didn’t realize I need. Something that might make my life better, save me time, or save me money.
Many ads are just dressed up biographies. They are merely a list of things about your company. You don’t need to educate me. You need to persuade me. The five words, “Well I Should Hope So,” are all you need to test your ads.
Make your claim. If the response “Well, I should hope so,” seems to fit after the claim… it’s a lousy claim. Pull it out of the ad.
“We have a friendly staff.”
Well, I should hope so. I kinda expect you’re going to be nice to me when I come in.
“Our staff is knowledgeable.”
Well, I should hope so. You better know what you’re talking about.
“Our products are the best quality.”
Well, I should hope so. I fully expect your stuff is good.
“We have been in business since 1974.”
Well, I should hope so. I certainly need you to be in business when I show up.
“Our people make the difference.”
Well, I should hope so. Having people is a key when doing business.
“Our service is second to none.”
Well… I don’t know what that means… but, I should hope so. I think.
Bad ads state the bare minimum. We’re friendly. We’re good. We have good stuff. All the things I expect from any business. You have friendly service? As opposed to what? Behaving like an ass?
You don’t get points for doing what is expected of you. You get a C. You’re average. Don’t spend good money bragging about utterly un-brag-worthy stuff. Tell me why you are special. Being friendly and good isn’t special. It’s normal. It’s expected.
Tell me something you do that your competition can’t. Hit me with a guarantee that nullifies any doubts I may have about you. Make a promise that stops me in my tracks.
Some of the above statements are often called “Advertising Cliches,” and, indeed, they are cliche. But, even worse: they are vapid. Utterly devoid of any information I might find useful. Pathetically unmotivating.
Your ad is your chance to shout from the rooftops why you’re awesome. Make sure what you’re saying is awesome.