The BEST hyperbole & superlatives in marketing (jk, it's an article)
Did I catch your attention or did I make you annoyed? Today, I reflect on the uses of hyperbole and superlatives in marketing. Tl;dr: I’m annoyed by them.
- I thought I was doing ok with daylight savings ending but then I realized that sunset is now at 5 pm and I’m completely discombobulated by my schedule changing.
- If you operate a brick & mortar business and haven’t claimed your Google My Business profile, you should do so now with their recently updated claiming options.
Hyperbole & superlatives in marketing
My writing/journalism hat and marketing hat are sometimes at odds with each other and this is one of those times. In writing, especially academic, I was taught that superlatives and hyperbole should be kept to a minimum unless they are backed up by a credible source. In marketing, hyperbole is used more often while superlatives without sources run the risk of false advertising.
A quick refresh-
Hyperbole: Exaggeration that is unrealistic. “That was so boring, I almost died.”
Superlative: The highest degree of something. “The best coffee in New York.”
For example, “This is the best roaster in the world.” There’s a difference between a brand claiming this and a customer opining this. As a brand, you’ll need to back it up with an actual award given to you. As a customer, totally okay!
I’m bringing this up because I’ve recently observed some marketing to the tune of “This is the best way to roast coffee” and “It’s impossible to make great coffee at home.” According to whom? Who determines what’s best or great or what’s possible? Yes, I understand that you do need to establish some authority as a brand but putting in statements that imply that only you know best is alienating to customers. There’s an exception to this that I’ll discuss later on.
When you’re planning a product or service, you usually establish what problem you solve or the big need you fulfill for a customer. And, how you separate yourself from others. Some people have issues with back pain while sitting at a desk? Create an ergonomic chair. How is it different from others? It’s created with recycled material so it’s sustainable. You can say that you’re a sustainable ergonomic chair manufacturer without saying that you’re the only one solving climate change because that just isn’t true (other chairs exist).
The few exceptions I can think of for including hyperbole or superlatives is if it’s either clearly stated as an opinion of the brand (“We think this is the best way to make coffee”) or if it’s a sarcastic/tongue-in-cheek kind of phrasing (“When you drink this coffee, you’ll be transported to a tropical beach, attended by adorable seal baristas, and guaranteed clear skies for every sunset”). The second is so outlandish that no one would think it’s real and if used sporadically, could catch the attention of a customer.
As consumers, we get advertisements shown to us so often that making sweeping claims or proclaiming yourself to be the only available solution reeks of hype and not authenticity. Be authentic and weird.
[BYLINE] Confused on which Facebook metrics your brand should track? Here’s our list of 16 important Facebook metrics every brand needs to measure.
Quick text updates & links on what's new on the networks
Instagram added a new sticker “Add Yours” to thread IG stories with other users. It’s finally adding back IG preview cardson Twitter (share an IG post on Twitter and you’ll see a small preview). And it’s testing a “take a break” feature.
Twitter added a feature to more easily search a user’s tweets.
TikTok created new guides to help businesses map out their branded content story.
Facebook changed its name to Meta and claims it’s going to be creating a “metaverse.” Which, I don’t have many words for but do enjoy the Tweet below from a company who already had Meta in its name.
Helpful links on how to improve your digital marketing
Here are our recommendations for activating an excellent social customer care experience on social media this holiday season.
Learn how buyer personas can improve both paid and organic social marketing and discover how to create ideal customer profiles for your business.
This study digs into the first few seconds of hundreds of viral TikTok videos, seeking to find what it is that grabs and holds our attention to keep us watching.
Anything I've enjoyed reading recently
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The long read: For all the advances that have been made in recent decades, disabled people cannot yet participate in society ‘on an equal basis’ with others – and the pandemic has led to many protections being cruelly eroded
Food media, archival repair, and what we expect from recipes
An update from my container garden!
My little pep pixie is happily growing with some variegated leaves.
What'd you think?
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