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Archive for November, 2007

More Sloppy Copy

November 27th, 2007 by Bob Bly

Yet another example of a copywriter not choosing words carefully is the radio commercial I heard today for PC Richards, a local electronics retailer.

The offer promoted in this commercial is free high-definition (HD) channels on I/O cable when you buy a new HDTV from PC Richards.

The copy suggests that with the money you save getting free cable, “you can spend a little more on a TV.”

We get what they mean, but somehow, it came out wrong. What consumer buying a TV wants to spend more money on it?

My rewrite: “With the money you save getting free cable, you’ll be able to afford the TV you really want — even that new wide-screen for watching the game this Sunday.”

What do you think of my rewrite — better, worse, or neutral?

Do you agree that the original “you can spend more” missed the mark?


Category: Advertising, General | 88 Comments »

Bob Bly on YouTube!

November 19th, 2007 by Bob Bly

“Dad,” my oldest son Alex called from our living room, where we keep one of our family PCs at home. “You’re on YouTube!”

And he’s right:

I didn’t know it, but a conference promoter put video of my speaking at his Internet marketing event on You Tube.

My questions is: does this benefit me in any way? How can I measure it?

In my old age, I am being dragged kicking and screamining into the brave new world of Web 2.0 — and I have barely begun to master Web 1.0!

Do YOU market with social media? Does it work? How do you know?


Category: General, Online Marketing | 64 Comments »

Good for a Laugh

November 11th, 2007 by Bob Bly

One of my pet peeves is copywriters who don’t think about the meaning of the words they write.

For instance: a TV commercial for an over-the-counter sleeping pill I saw today said “drowsiness” may be a side effect of taking the pill.

Isn’t that like saying death is a side effect of being executed?

The whole point of a sleeping pill is to make you fall asleep.

Before you fall asleep, you have to become drowsy.

It isn’t a side effect: it’s the benefit of the product.

In my opinion, sloppy thinking leading to sloppy writing.

Your thoughts?


Category: General | 202 Comments »

Is Reading Dead?

November 2nd, 2007 by Bob Bly

When I was a teenager, a favorite activity was to lose oneself in reading books, and in our spare time — mainly on weekends — we could sit for hours with the Lord of the Rings or the Foundation Trilogy.

I thought Harry Potter had reawakened the passion for reading in today’s generation, but apparently not.

According to an article in Fuel (11/07, p. 2), the average 15 to 19-year old reads an average of just 7 minutes — yes, only 7 minutes — per day on weekends.

Is literacy doomed? Are we raising a generation of ignorant kids who know much more about Gears of War than they do about World War II?

Does knowing things — and being able to read and understand a text — matter in today’s hyperlinked, Google-driven age?


Category: General | 58 Comments »