Unbelievable Estate Agent Woman: “Welcome to your new clean home.”
Daft-Looking Woman: “Thanks. It may look clean, but there may be hidden germs.”
Have you ever had a conversation about anything that sounded like that? Those are the opening lines for a TV ad punting some home-cleaining product (the name of which I cannot recall. Anyone?). The Daft-Looking woman then goes on to say how she used to use other cleaning products but now she uses the hero product.
Here’s the kicker: while she’s speaking she sweeps these same products that she used to use from her kitchen table and replaces them with the hero product! Why does she still have the products she used to use!?
There’s nothing in this ad that’s natural, realistic or believable. And yet someone paid an agency (in all likelihood, one that won a bank of awards) a whackload of money for this ad.
Please, please, please: if you’re a copywriter and you’re tasked to write dialogue, make it believable. Don’t use phrases that are “on message” or “on brand” simply because client wants it. And if you’re forced to, get client into a meeting and act out the script….badly…so they can see how horribly they’re going to be represented. And if despite all this, it makes it to air “intact”, mention it in your porti but don’t offer it for viewing – or risk being tarred and feathered and drummed out of town.