An advertising copywriter should write copy that doesn’t offend anyone.
Because you’re supposed to persuade readers in order to help clients sell products and services. And I often try to use humor to engage readers.
But if my words offend you—even if they’re true—you’ll think less of me, maybe even dislike me, and I’ll be emotionally devastated. You know, my fragile self-esteem and all.
Goes back to those awkward, adolescent days.
Like when your voice cracked with oscillating regularity from base to soprano. Or a zit that was non-existent in the morning rose like a red, shiny beacon in the middle of your forehead by the afternoon. And then you passed a cluster of cute girls in the school hallway that pointed at you and burst into laughter. Which is how you discover the red, shiny beacon on your forehead.
Not that I would know anything about that.
You see, the world is not that complicated. It’s about pointing fingers, calling names and laughing at the butt of a joke—that’s not you. It’s about being liked…accepted…and well, cool.
Why is that so hard for people to understand?
So here are three tips for writing completely inoffensive content. After all, everyone recognizes the inalienable right to improve your SEO rankings. Whether anyone actually reads and appreciates what you say is beside the point.
To Write Copy That Doesn’t Offend Anyone Maximize Big Words
Circumlocution is not just for politicians of questionable character and summarizing defense attorneys. Any serious sesquipedalian with acumen and anomalistic tendencies cognitively grasps the reality that even the most ebullient reader doesn’t engage in literary consumption with a dictionary in hand. So they’ll have no clue on what you just said, but profusely congratulate you on how well you said it.
Impressive, right? Everyone smiles and nods their heads. It’s the Emperor’s new clothes in a modern day fitting. A humorous story that makes you chuckle. Sure, it begs the philosophical question…if you just communicated and no one understands well enough to consciously ignore you, do you actually exist?
Personally, I prefer more profound questions of an earthy nature like: Does a bare bear poop in the woods? But that’s just me.
Plus, big words impress others with how smart you are.
To Write Copy That Doesn’t Offend Anyone Talk in Circles
This approach uses lots of words that go nowhere. A Merry-Go-Round of empty repetition. Where the point is to make no point by using a plethora (cool big word, huh?) of descriptive adjectives, idioms (different than idiots) and hyperbole.
When discussing Foreign policy, it’s important to consider that foreign people live way over there and we live way over here. It’s as distant as the earth is from the sun. To make it clear as a bell and as plain as the nose your face, they’re imports and we’re domestic. Certainly we’re not domestic in the way your maid is domestic. Not that there’s anything wrong with being domestic like your maid. Because I firmly believe it’s not what you do, but that you’re sincere in what you believe about how you do it. And let me just say, my dog is domestic too. Although my cat is a bit wild. Well, maybe not completely wild. But he’s very independent. Just like people in this country are independent. Which is why we live way over here and foreigners live way over there.
To Write Inoffensive Copy Tell Warm and Fuzzy Anecdotal Stories
Warm, inspirational stories make people feel good. And when they feel good, it lessens their dislike—at least as long as the good feeling lasts. Anecdotal stories are like modern fairy tales. A selfie with words. Full of promise, love and happily ever after. Use them liberally and don’t worry about exaggerating slightly for emotional effect. It’s simply creative license—a part of all compelling drama. Add some humor and even better.
Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed, a poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed, then one day he was shootin at some food, and up through the ground came a bubblin crude. Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea. Well the first thing you know ol Jed’s a millionaire, kinfolk said “Jed move away from there.” Said “Californy is the place you ought to be” so they loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly. Hills, that is. Swimmin pools, movie stars.
So there you go. Use these 3 tips for writing inoffensive content to make people like you. Or at least, have no reason to dislike you. Write well, write often and don’t ever worry about if you’re right…or wrong. No one will ever know.
About Chip Tudor:
Join My E-mail List
And I’ll send you my article: Exaggerate to Make Your Presentations Funny. You’ll learn how to punch up your presentations with humor.