Turn the Car Around, We Could Use Some of That!
What sounds better to you?
“Fred’s Fine Foods has all of your grocery needs!”
“Ruby Red Grapefruit flown in fresh daily from the Sunshine state of Florida is only one temptation you’ll take home from Fred’s Fine Foods”.
The misuse of clichés such as “all your ‘blank’ needs” literally kills your message. Consumers fail to hear clichés, visualize them, or retain them because they are overused and way too common. You may as well say, “blah-blah-blah”. George Carlin, the late stand-up comedian, actor, and social critic brought the subject of clichés to the forefront in a hilarious routine he called “Advertising Lullaby.” Here’s a partial transcription of his performance.
“This is called “Advertising Lullaby” keeping in mind of course that the whole purpose of advertising is to lull you to sleep.
Quality, values, style, service, selection, convenience, economy, savings, performance, experience, hospitality, low rates, friendly service, name brands, easy terms, affordable prices, money-back guarantee, free installation.
Free admission, free appraisal, free alterations, free delivery, free estimates, free home trial, and free parking. No cash, no problem. No kidding, no fuss, no muss, no risk, no obligation, no red tape, no down payment, no entry fee, no hidden charges, no purchase necessary. No one will call on you. No payments or interest until September, but –
But wait! There’s more! (Sorry, I had to throw in another cliché)
“Shop by mail, order by phone.
Try it in your home, get one for your car.
All entries become our property, employees not eligible,
Entry fees not refundable, local restrictions apply,
Void where prohibited except in Indiana.
Come on in for a free demonstration and a free consultation with our friendly, professional staff. Our courteous and knowledgeable sales representatives will help you make a selection that’s just right for you and just right for your budget.
And if you act now, we’ll include an extra added free complimentary bonus gift: a classic, deluxe, custom, designer, luxury, prestige, high-quality, premium, select, gourmet, leather style wallet. With a detachable keychain, and a pencil holder.
I invite you to view his entire performance on YouTube. I didn’t include the link here because Carlin uses explicit language and derogatory remarks about this industry I love so much. Maybe you remember his “Seven Dirty Words” routine. Well, let’s just say he uses a few of those in the full version of “Advertising Lullaby.” But George Carlin opened the minds and ears of those of us in this business that someone IS actually listening!
I am not a humorist of George Carlin’s caliber. I have, however, on many occasions made this quip when driving with my significant other;
“Honey! Quick, turn the car around! Did you hear that? They have all of our tire and automotive needs! Plus, fast, friendly service and a knowledgeable sales staff! And customer service is their NUMBER ONE GOAL! We could use some of that!”
I usually laugh harder than she does, but hearing messages like that energizes me because I know there is a lot of work to be done to educate our customers on how to create marketing messages that really make a difference.
We have a proven system that eliminates “Advertising Lullabies” from your advertising. I’d love to be your guide when you’re ready to link your stories to marketing results.
Paul Blair serves as our Creative Services Director writing and producing many award-winning branding and public service campaigns for clients such as Zimbrick, Settlers Bank, Gunderson Life Celebration Centers, Carpets Plus, Chalmers Jewelers, Saint Vincent de Paul, The Healthy Place, Genesis Painting, Benjamin Plumbing and many, many more. His successful career at Mid-West Family Madison spans over thirty years.