Let’s talk about love. Do you love your girlfriend? Your husband? Your children?
I recently saw a lorry delivering the regal bread Kingsmill. I noticed the big photo and pondered the idea that it might just contain one giant loaf of bread. But, more relevantly to a blog about being a freelance copywriter, I noticed the copy.
It said – ‘Love Bread. Love Kingsmill.’
And it got me thinking about my relationship with bread, and in turn the choice of words that we use when selling.
When To Say I Love You
A fundamental skill of a copywriter is choosing words. Selecting the best words for the occasion is essential, and the same ones won’t work in all situations. With some of the most powerful words, it can be difficult to judge when to use them.
Love is a powerful thing. It has hundreds of connotations – the paternal love between father and daughter, the enthusiastic love of a hobby, and the hot steamy love between drunk people. In just one word, you can suggest a multitude of different things which – if they apply to the situation – deeply connect with readers.
But the difficulty comes from precisely this – love means different things to different people. Some people say it all the time, like a nervous tick. Did you really literally fall in love with that dog? Because that’s not normal.
Other people, of course, don’t say it enough. Just ask your local marriage counsellor.
So if you’re looking to use this kind of high impact word, be careful – your audience might not see it the same way you do.
Love Could Tear Your Copy Apart
At the right times, using the word ‘love’ is very effective. Similarly, I think think other emotional words like ‘laugh’ and ‘cry’ are brilliant. But if you’re aiming for the impressive results of using emotion in your copy, make sure that you don’t push your luck.
I love bread. The crunch of the crust, the warmth of the soft bread as it cradles your favourite filling. But that’s fresh, hand-cut bread.
Nothing would have been wrong with ‘Like Bread. Love Kingsmill.’ Because I do like bread, and I won’t argue with the fact that Kingsmill is a good factory-sliced option. But it’s not something I love and, with that one word, I felt alienated.
Fresh bread is something I love. Factory-sliced is something I need.
And what’s easier to sell than that?