flow versus impact in marketing

In his  book, “The Art of Writing Copy,” Marketing wiz H.G. Lewis said:

Tying two statements together with “and” adds flow and subtracts impact.

Here is an Example of what he means:

Which bullet point is stronger?

  1. In  my line of work, every word counts, and I practice what I call “word economy.”
  2. In my line of work, every word counts. I practice what I call “word economy.”

Line one has flow, but the “and” dilutes the strength of both statements.  Line two creates a momentary loss of flow, but retains the impact of the individual statements.

Maybe you’ll guffaw. Maybe you’ll think that a one-word, comma-versus-period change isn’t worth your thought or effort. But I challenge you to give it a try in your next marketing campaign, particularly if you are limited to a specific word count.  Write your first draft, then, as Lewis recommends, “cold-bloodedly” remove the “ands” when they link two thoughts. Then read the statements out loud, considering the intent of the overall campaign.

Which are you after – flow, or impact?


Four Marketing Practices the Drive me Crazy

I unchained myself from cable TV a year ago and now tolerate only the small amount of network broadcasts that come on before I flip over to my Roku player, where I watch Netflix, Amazon Prime, the Smithsonian Channel, and awesome PBS documentaries.

Now, on the rare occasions that I actually do watch network news or see marketing on the internet, I am doubly annoyed by four marketing ploys that have bothered me for a long time.

Are your TV and Social Media peeves like mine? Let’s see:

FIRST: I am totally turned off by business owners whose TV ads feature their children or grandchildren, especially if they are singing stupid jingles. Unless your business is all about kids, please leave them at home where they belong.

SECOND: I will never, ever do business with companies that hire that voice-over guy who screams for the entire 30 or 60-second spot. He’s just plain obnoxious. That form of advertising lost its luster back in the 1950s. Please, leave it there.

THIRD: Ads or circulars or flyers that claim the issuing company is “the best” in the industry, or uses any other superlatives, without providing absolute proof.

FOURTH: Facebook posts that declare they will “blow your mind,” “change your life,” or “bring you to tears,” then show you a mediocre or nothing-new video.

Bottom line for me is this: If I find your advertising obnoxious, annoying, or utterly stupid, I will not buy your products or hire your company. I don’t believe I am the only one who feels this way, so please comment!