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Commonly Overused Words in Advertising Copy and How to Avoid Them

I recently read a list of five words you should never use in your advertising – and I think you’ll be surprised by them. These words are bantered about all the time; chances are you’re using one or more of them in your current campaigns. Can you guess what they are?

value
quality
service
caring
integrity

The first four are ineffective simply because they all fail for essentially the same reasons. Not only are they overused, they’re based on variables that will be different for everyone. There’s a quality/value/service/caring continuum in each person’s mind for every purchase occasion, and it is a continually moving target.

But the fifth word is different. The fifth word doesn’t work precisely because it’s not variable. The fifth word is binary. Either your company has integrity, or it doesn’t! And…what is integrity, in 21st century America?

The next time you’re tempted to use one of these five words in an ad, stop and ask if there’s a better way to get the message across.

Kim Stacey, of marketingfuneralservices.com, has dedicated her career to supporting and empowering funeral service professionals by writing responsive advertising and informational copy. She can be reached most easily at kimstacey@sbcglobal.net, or 831-338-0220. Living in the small coastal town of Boulder Creek, California, she’s in the Pacific Time zone.

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