By Braeden Mincher, Social Media Manager
Prepare to throw away what your teachers have been drilling into your brain for years. But… (drum roll please) …grammar doesn’t always matter! It’s true folks, prefect grammar does not always make a perfectly communicated message. Some of the best advertisements have the worst grammar.
Let’s take the “GOT MILK?” ad for example. You wouldn’t write that for your English teacher would you? If we were being fancy, the proper way to display this message is “Do You Have Milk?” I’m thinking that wouldn’t have caught on. It’s boring, generic, and too proper. The “GOT MILK?” slogan is a huge success that has caught the attention of other brands to jump on the “Got” bandwagon.
Just when you think you got it, think again. There’s another variable you need to take into consideration in a message and that’s syntax (I know it’s not as fun). There are 4 important things to consider when you want people to act favorably towards your message:
- Positively worded statements are easier to comprehend than negatively worded statements. “We have found that…” instead of “We have not found that…”
- Active sentence structure is evaluated more favorably than passive sentence structure. “She is going to the store.” instead of “She went to the store.”
- If your message is taking the central route to be processed, use complex sentence structure. Potential customers are already interested in your product, and a source with complex sentence structure will make you sound reliable and intelligent.
- If your message is taking the peripheral route to be processed, use simple sentences. These potential customers are initially interested in your product so use short, fun, attention grabbing phrases to pull your audience in.
So why does this all matter anyway?
Studies show that small changes in design give you dramatic results. A simple word choice will make all the difference in a brand. Just imagine if the milk industry went with “Do You Have Milk?” I don’t think major celebrities would be endorsing that too much.
Whether you're advertising on social media,TV,or a billboard, having an attention-grabbing message will make all the difference.
Meeting marketing goals in today's competitive, ever-changing environment has become increasingly complex. Additional options, higher costs, greater risks and smaller profit margins make the need for effective and efficient media and public relations planning more critical than ever.
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