It's Ok to End a Sentence With With
This article will really bug some of the grammar hounds out there. When writing is your profession, it can be hard to let sentence structure slide. But, in advertising, saying things in a linguistically perfect way is completely unimportant. It’s a really tough thing for some people to grasp. It’s easy for me because I’m honestly not that great at grammar (as you may have already noticed.) What you need to be good at is writing your messages in the way your intended listener speaks. I don’t care how many green squiggly lines are running beneath your copy. If it’s written the way your audience speaks, it is correct. Here are a few more things to watch out for.
Big words – It doesn’t make your advertisement better to fill it with big complicated words. If you’re advertising to a very highly educated crowd, go for it. But, if you’re targeting everyone else, try not to include words that aren’t well known. It won’t make you seem smart or clever. It will just create distance between you and your prospective client.
Different Languages – If you want to use a phrase from a different language, it needs to be well known as well. “C’est La Vie” is a good example. People generally know what that means. People won’t understand obscure cultural references. If it isn’t understandable, it’s a waste of your advertising dollar. If you can, run your commercials by your current clients. If they understand them, they’re in the ball park. If not, you need to go fish!
Before you ever write a commercial, or start a campaign you need to sit down and completely understand who it is you’re talking to. The more specific you can be, the more effective your creative will be. It’s the same thing that program directors teach on air staff at a radio station. You should always speak to your audience as if it’s a one on one conversation between friends. You are not speaking to a group of people. You are speaking to one person. One man. One woman. One teenager. One hockey loving, truck driving, beer drinking, divorced, 45 year old, balding, man named Steve. One 55 year old married woman with three children that are in college, who loves coffee, reading, and struggles to keep up with technology, but wants to stay relevant. I’ll say it again, the more specific you can be, the more effective your creative will be. Take it seriously. When you can narrow down exactly who your client is, speak with them like a friend. Speak casually. Friends don’t speak in perfect English, and neither should your advertising message.
The most important thing your business can be in today’s world is REAL. Write like a real person. Voice like a real person. Because real people are who you are speaking with.
Microsoft Word really hates my last sentence, but I don’t care!