03 Oct

Talk how people talk

I saw this beauty yesterday:


My  personal favourite is the Cheerios ad/product placement (around the 2:26 mark).
The problem (or one of many) with all of these ads is the same: no-one talks like that in real life. The people in these clips just sound phoney.

No friend of mine has ever looked at a box of cereal and casually slipped into conversation; ‘and since they are wholegrain and one gram of sugar, which is excellent for swimsuit season…’ (if they did, they’d soon find a bucket of cold water heading their way).

Here’s another example:

Who spouts such lovey-dovey nonsense about dishwasher cleaner, honestly? Who takes pictures of dishwasher tablets on their phone?? His blog must be a laugh-a-minute read…

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to the radio station LBC 97.3, you’ll find that most of the ads on there are the same as those mentioned above: someone talking about a product or service in a way that is completely alien to the everyday ear.
Why do they do this?

It reminds me (particularly the Cheerio ad) of a quote from the legendary David Ogilvy: ‘ the consumer is not an idiot – she’s your wife’
(ok, a bit dated but you get the gist).

By contrast, Love it or hate it (pun intended), the recent controversial Marmite TV ad works, because a) it talks how people actually talk in those daytime, animal rescue programmes b) it recognises something that’s true about Marmite: it divides people’s opinions – it’s not to everyone’s taste:

The same goes for this, below – it just speaks how ‘normal’ folk speak and it recognises a truth about why you’d just make an online purchase:

Ultimately it doesn’t matter if you’re writing a grand TV ad, a blog post, a newsletter, or a brochure to go out to a select number of people: just talk how people talk, otherwise you’ve lost a chunk of audience before you’ve even got started.

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