If you were one of the 3.5 million adults who tuned-in to a Boston radio station last week, then no doubt you heard multiple commercials that included phrases like 'troubling times', 'uncertain times', 'unprecedented times', 'new normal', and 'we're in this together'.
In March, as the pandemic began to disrupt consumers' lives, using these phrases was a powerful way for New England small business owners to acknowledge the severity of the crisis and to exhibit empathy. But 120 days later, these words have become cliche and have lost potency.
A cliche, says the Oxford Dictionary, is "a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought."
According to the Writing Center at The University of North Carolina, the dependence on cliches could create a harmful perception of a business that uses them. For instance, these overused phrases can make an advertiser's message seem boring. They can be perceived as vague. They can be interpreted to be a sign of laziness. They can also result in a lack of credibility.
The words a Boston small business chooses for its advertising will have the most significant effect on sales. That's why eliminating cliches is critical.
Nielsen has conducted a study of how each component of an advertising campaign affects sales increases. The research reveals that the creative, which includes the words chosen, is the most vital element for producing sales lift.
Percent Sales Contribution by Advertising Element
So, what is it that consumers want to hear now from local businesses that are advertising on Boston radio? A study conducted by researchers at Elevate | SmithGeiger, LLC, offers an answer.
According to Elevate, as the pandemic winds down, consumers of every age won't want to hear that "we are all in this together". Insted, they they will want to learn about:
- Special deals
- Shopping safety
- Online buying options
- Financing opportunities
Based on the findings of their study, Elevate | SmithGeiger suggests that business owners stop including the following in their advertising:
- "During these unprecedented times..."
- "We know you feel (word)..."
- "COVID-19" or "Coronavirus"
- "In this together"
- Somber music
- "The new normal"
instead, commercials should start including:
- Addressing safety measures
- "We are OPEN!"
- Playful/upbeat music
- Online options
More Advertising Advice For Boston Small Business Owners
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- Why Boston Banks & Credit Unions Need To Advertise Now