Indeed, it truly does.
But if you are not a lover of words and an inveterate reader of bad advertising, you may not realize it.
If you're following our current adventures at all, you know that we are cruising America in the Slow Burn Marketing Brand Response Unit.
And driving the Interstate highway system means you confront an advertising medium abhorred by advertising greats such as David Ogilvy and Howard Gossage.
We are speaking, of course, of the Great American Billboard.
A BLIGHT UPON THE LANDSCAPE!
Or so such people would have us believe.
For us, however, we are not here to judge.
The attack of the billboards long predates any influence we could have had upon its spread across the land.
Now, we just use the billboard for our amusement.
And after seeing literally hundreds of them over the last several weeks, we have a new favorite.
It has entered the lexicon of Slow Burn Marketing in a way not seen since our favorite all-purpose tagline.
DO YOU REMEMBER THAT ONE?
If you weren't here then, or you've simply lost those brain cells, it came from an advertisement for a nursing home.
Written by one of our favorite people in radio as a desirable feature (and done in all seriousness), we have adopted it as a catchall for situations where you're stuck for a good phrase.
For example, let's say you're writing a new ad for the Ford F-150 Raptor edition pickup truck.
Understand, this is no mere mortal pickup truck.
This is a lean, mean beast of a pickup truck with a monster engine and high-performance suspension and even off-road racing capability should you desire it.
So, you're writing an ad for the Ford F-150 Raptor and you've hit the wall.
You don't know what else to write.
FALL BACK ON THE ALL-PURPOSE TAGLINE FROM THE NURSING HOME
"New! The Ford F-150 Raptor! It doesn't smell like urine!"
Really, how do you argue that?
It's absolute truth in advertising in every way imaginable.
After purchase, nobody can guarantee that feature. It all depends on who's with you and how you drive the thing.
But brand new, smells like the showroom floor fresh, the Ford F-150 Raptor doesn't smell like urine.
And guaranteed, it's a line that would get people talking.
Think of your own business. Chances are 99 and 44/100ths percent guaranteed that unless it works for your business--unless you have a diaper service.
And even then, "It doesn't smell like urine" is actually the result of the service.
So there ya go.
HOWEVER, THE DAY HAS COME
After more than a decade of trotting out that old chestnut, we have retired it for a phrase adopted from a billboard in the heartland.
The establishment that has erected the billboards has chosen an eye-catching color scheme of yellow on black.
And the headline on the billboard is: "ONE WORD: STRIPPERS."
Subhead: "NEED WE SAY MORE?"
Until it isn't.
Because after that simple and final thought, the billboard has another dozen words of copy.
It's an entire list of features the club offers--including truck parking.
APPARENTLY, "NEED WE SAY MORE?" IS NOT A RHETORICAL QUESTION
Because, yes, they indeed do need to say more.
So, in the spirit of words not mattering and overwriting the copy long beyond what should be necessary, and creating run-on sentences (which didn't happen with the billboard but is another great tradition of unskilled copywriting by people thinking words matter too much to exercise efficiency or judicious thought), we now gently move aside "It doesn't smell like urine" to give it a break.
Need we say more?
We have found all kinds of immediate uses for our new catchall tagline.
Ford F-150 Raptor! Need we say more?
BUT WHO CARES?!
Need we say more?
Of course we do!
And we're gonna!
Xfinity! Need we say more?
Got milk? Need we say more?
Old Spice! I'm on a horse. Need we say more?
Dos Equis! Need we say more?
Burger King! Need we say more?
Nike! Need we say more?
HECK, WE'RE DITCHING OUR OWN TAGLINE!
My what a big brand you have, out!
In: Slow Burn Marketing! Need we say more?
It's so devoid of meaning, it works anywhere!
But really, you know what the best thing about this line is?
It's an all-purpose ad copywriting litmus test.
Because if you can use the line, chances are pretty good the answer is: Yes, you do need to say more.
ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS IN SMALL-BUSINESS ADVERTISING IS UNFINISHED WRITING
So much copywriting is never, ever completed.
When I was in radio, I would routinely, I would get copy from writers who simply never finished the job.
One of the questions I routinely heard from people was, "Why do your commercials sound better than everyone else?" Because I finish the job.
Whether you're writing your own advertising, or you have someone writing it for you, always be hypercritical.
Always ask, "Is this ad finished? Do we need to say more?"
What constitutes more? What makes an ad finished?
Maybe that's another screed.
Need we say more?
Your Lean, Mean Creative Director in
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Blaine Parker is prone to ranting about any and all things related to brand. In many ways, he is a professional curmudgeon. While there is no known vaccine for this, the condition is also not contagious. Unless you choose it to be so.