Thursday, April 2, 2015

Gibberish in Advertising

Have you ever noticed how television advertising is often about using certain words and phrases that are ultimately meaningless?

Examples:

Affordable
Best
Call now
Cutting Edge
Cyberspace
Dealer pricing
Employee pricing
Excellence or Exceptional
Final weeks to save
Finest
First Annual
Free Gift
Friendly
Great Deal
Giving 110 Percent
Going out of business sale
Hassle Free
Home of the ______
Honest Truth
Huge Savings
Information Superhighway
Largest Selection
Last Chance
Loaded with options
Nearly Flawless
Networking
New and Improved
Once in a lifetime
Outside the box
Pass the savings onto you
Premium
Pre-owned
Professional
Prompt Service
Qualified
Quality
Quality of Life
Quality Workmanship
Service
Setting the standard
Synergy
Take advantage of
Trained Professional
Unique
Virtually Any
Your _______ needs
Zero money down

However on the internet, where keywords are EVERYTHING, these advertising words become filler - complete useless. The primary goal is to use the words for which the website was made for.

So for example lets pretend you were trying to sell car insurance on television. The monologue for a car insurance TV commercial might sound like this:

Are you looking for employee pricing car insurance? Imagine being able to get great deals on car insurance rates, the best service from our team of friendly and professionally trained staff who will fulfill all of your car insurance needs - offering you the best quality and excellence you can expect, all while making car insurance more hassle free and affordable. Get zero money down on your first month of car insurance by calling now!

Now imagine a website that has everything written like that? It would look idiotic. The stuff people get away with in television advertising would look like it was written by an amateur on the internet. The meaningless words shown in print are revealed as such and suddenly any normal person can no longer take the website in question as anything but either an amateurish mistake or a joke, poking fun at the use of meaningless words.

Take for example the image on the right, which shows keywords and which ones are the most expensive to advertise in (and most profitable) for publishers in theory.

Insurance
Loans
Mortgage
Attorney
Credit
Lawyer
Donate
Degree
Hosting
Claim
Conference Call
Trading
Software
Recovery
Transfer
Gas/Electricity
Classes
Rehab
Treatment
Cord Blood

I don't even know what "cord blood" is. I just looked it up. Apparently it has to do with special banks that store blood from umbilical cords for future use in stem cell transplants.

So back to the example of insurance, an insurance company's websites goal is to show lots of content. Content about every kind of insurance they sell, and in theory they should also be showing consumer stories about their customer experience - talking about how their car got stolen, they needed the car to get to work, and the insurance company was so fast, the service was friendly and helpful, and even got them a rental car while they processed the insurance claim.

This way their website gets lots of content on the topic, includes customer feedback, and customers end up feeling like they were treated like an individual instead of like another number.

Ask yourself which do you prefer: To buy your car insurance from a company full of gibberish or a company which shows they live up to the claims. I know which company I would pick.

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