Well, I should hope so…

 

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.

Example:

“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.

Johnny Molson

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