One of the most depressing sights in all of marketing is that of a company trying to appear to be “just like you”. There has been a rise in recent years in the number of companies who make advertisements that try too hard to position the company as “the customer’s friend” and perhaps the most galling example of this is when companies resort to “txt spk” – the abbreviated form of language which is commonly used in text messages to fit into a character limit.
Or the sign to the right that misspelled “more” and “chicken.” I mean really? What were they thinking? This may have been one of those ads that worked because they purposely did this to garner attention. And attention it did. Because it was seen all over the Internet. People took pictures of the sign, shared it on social media… and more. But did it “sell more chicken?” The jury’s still out on that one.
In advertising there are no character limits. You don’t need to misspell words to convince people that your product is something they might like to buy. You don’t need to pretend that you are “just the same” as the customer. And if you do that by dumbing down, you end up insulting their intelligence, which is worse. Clarity is more important than identifying with the customer. In the nicest possible way, you are not their friend. They have enough friends anyway. What they need is a DVD player that works, or a sandwich that sates their hunger and tastes great.
By speaking clearly and literately, you position yourself as a company the customer can respect and who they will be willing to buy from.
There is no benefit to pretending that you are something you’re not. At the end of the day you are asking them to hand money over – would a friend do that? Surely they’d give them the items for free?