Copywriting

Grammar Matters: Bring vs. Take

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As a marketing agency, we write a lot of copy, so we end up talking a lot about grammar. As a result, we’ve got a lot of agency sayings on the topic.

Our strategists’ favorite is: “Grammar is not an opinion.”
Our designers’ favorite is: “But there is such thing as Advertising Grammar.”
Our grammarian’s favorite is: “You can’t break the [grammar] rules until you know the rules!”

Today, on our mission to help folks with common grammar issues, we’re addressing two words that are often mixed up.

ISSUE: Bring vs. Take
The problem is that many people use bring and take indiscriminately. Both words describe the movement of something from one location to another. However, each has its proper usage depending on your point of reference. You ask people to bring things to wherever you are. You take things to where you are going.

EXAMPLES:
I ask people to bring me coffee.
You tell people they can bring their dog to work.
But you take your dog to work.
We take comps to the client.

QUICK TIP: You bring things here and take things there.

Did this post take you out of your comfort zone? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Keep our Quick Tip handy and keep practicing!

Grammar Matters: Fewer vs. Less

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As a branding agency, we are super passionate about the spoken and written word. We know that one word or comma can change the meaning and the emotion felt by the reader or can just plain be incorrect. With that passion in mind, we’re debuting a blog series that focuses on a few common grammar missteps and corresponding tips to help get them right.

ISSUE: Fewer vs. Less

Many times we’ve seen the word “less” used when the word “fewer” should have been used. Luckily, the rule for this one is pretty easy. You use “fewer” when you can count what you’re comparing. “Less” should be used when you can’t count what you’re comparing. For example, you would say, “I want fewer glasses of water” or “I want less water.”

EXAMPLES: fewer dollars vs less money; fewer hours vs less time; fewer sandwiches vs less food

QUICK TIP: Think, “Can I count what I’m describing?” If yes, use fewer.

You might be surprised how often a fewer/less challenge comes up. We hope this post helps you make fewer mistakes so you can feel less insecure about your grammar skills. :)

Delicious is Lazy

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A well-respected advertising agency Creative Director used to say, “Delicious is lazy” when reviewing ad copy.

What did he mean?

“Delicious” itself is not a bad word. What he meant is that if you’re writing copy about food, “delicious” is too easy of a choice and really doesn’t mean anything specific…there is always a better, more descriptive word to describe the taste experience. If you want to write copy that captures attention and creates a mental image that makes it irresistible for someone to run out and purchase your client’s product, then push yourself to find a more interesting, more apt word.

Much copy is overlooked because readers are tired of reading the same thing over and over. Half the time they know what the ad reads, even without reading it. That’s when “delicious is lazy.”

Of course, there is a “delicious” equivalent in every industry. Words that are easy or “lazy.” The actual word “delicious” doesn’t apply to a B2B software or luxury jewelry designer client. In those industries their “delicious” might be “world class” or “beautiful.”

At BrandTuitive we use the phrase “delicious is lazy” as a mantra when we’re writing copy for our brand clients. It ensures we push to create copy that is as compelling as it can be and that sparks the end users’ Movie in the Mind℠.

Browse our Portfolio pages for some examples of pushing ourselves to go beyond “delicious.” In particular, we love the copy in the Infolectual direct mail piece we created for The Economist magazine and the “Designed for Perfection” national newspaper advertising we did for Nespresso during their 25% off promotion.

Maybe the next time you want to describe something as “delicious,” you’ll challenge yourself to find a more interesting option. :)

Inspiration for Brilliant Copy

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At BrandTuitive, we’re big fans of the well-written word. We take copywriting very seriously. We often see brand, marketing and advertising communications that include amazing copy; but more and more, we see that the art of copy is not as appreciated as it should be.

Masterfully crafted copy that ties into the brand positioning is a powerful way to spark the customer’s Movie in the Mind. So when we set out to write copy whether for a television or radio ad, billboard or direct mail piece, we always tie back to the strategy and use inspiration from several sources including brainstorming or even just going out for a walk.

Sometimes we listen to music. Great songwriters are some of the best copywriters, and the best copywriters are unsung heroes. They have to communicate intricate feelings, thoughts and emotions in very few words and with grace and alliteration.

Right from the start
You were a thief
You stole my heart
And I your willing victim.
I let you see the parts of me
That weren’t all that pretty
And with every touch you fixed them.

- Pink, Just Give Me A Reason

The best songwriters are masterful at choosing words that drive emotion.

The amusement park rises bold and stark 
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist 
I wanna die with you Wendy on the street tonight 
In an everlasting kiss.

 - Bruce Springsteen, Born To Run

So sometimes we’ll just crank up the tunes to be around great copywriting in the form of a song.

When the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

- ColdPlay, Fix You

Songwriter poets, no doubt, are some of the world’s finest copywriters. Look to them – and enjoy the music – for inspiration!