Bob Bly Direct Response Copywriter Official Banner

Bob Gets Bent Out of Shape About Joint Flex Commercial

September 24th, 2008 by Bob Bly

A sin to be avoided in copy is using words that remind the prospect you are in actuality selling a product, not just educating or helping him out of the kindness of your heart.

One of the words on my forbidden list is “product.” Today I heard a radio spot for Joint Flex, an arthritis supplement, that repeats the word many times.

The announcer says: “Doctors love the product, patients love the product, you will love the product.”

Why call it “the product”? Why not be more specific and use the name?

My rewrite: “Doctors love Joint Flex, patients love Joint Flex, you will love Joint Flex.”

A yacht salesman refers to his top-of-the-line model as a “yacht” or “she.”

A car salesman refers to a sports car as a sports car, automobile, or “a beauty.”

You never hear a good salesperson say “our product” or “my product.”

Neither should a good copywriter.

“Product” instantly breaks the spell of enticing copy and says to the prospect, “Don’t forget, we want your money.”


This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 24th, 2008 at 2:47 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

42 responses about “Bob Gets Bent Out of Shape About Joint Flex Commercial”

  1. Lou Wasser said:


    Repeating the word “product” sounds (and reads as) cumbersome. As you suggest, Bob, repeating the product name would be much more effective and probably the best solution.

    But even repeating the word “it” comes off better than the present way: “Doctors love it, patients love it, you will love it.”

  2. Jennifer said:

    I agree–nobody uses the word “product” except salespeople, and the last thing you want to do when you’re selling is sound like a salesperson.

  3. Jennifer said:

    Nobody uses the word “product” except salespeople. The last thing you want to sound like when you’re selling is a salesperson.

  4. Philip McLean said:

    Lou, I’d rather not use “it” in a radio spot. Some listener did not catch the product name the first time, so repeat it several times.

  5. Gerold Braun said:

    i am courious about the other words on your forbidden list, Bob.

  6. tom feedcopy said:

    Bob – great point. I heard something like from Zig Ziglar years ago, too. He said you should enthusiastically use the name of your ‘product’ because if you don’t . . .who else will?

  7. Bob Bly said:

    Gerold: Don’t say “cost” or “purchase.” Say “investment.” Don’t say “sales meeting.” Say “appointment” or “initial consultation.” Instead of “salesperson,” say “specialist.”

  8. Cynthia Maniglia said:

    “Product” is a word that clients use when they provide agencies or copywriters with creative input documents. “Product” is a word that the copywriter has to change – and that’s his or her job, to change in-house marketing speak to consumer-friendly words that persuade. Unfortunately, lazy copywriters can’t seem to find a word to replace “product” – and so the forbidden word slips into the copy and the client, who uses that word everyday and is not versed in good copywriting technique, approves in the final script. Imagine a client writing on the copy, “Please find a replacement for the word ‘product.’ We feel it is cold and generic sounding.” ! Yes, Bob – it’s a word to avoid at almost all costs. I venture a guess to say there may be a time when it could be appropriate to use that word when speaking about a manufactured good (certainly not a service, as service is actually a good word to use, I think). I challenge your readers to find that instance.

  9. Kelja said:

    I learned long ago, when someone called you a good ‘salesman’, you almost never made the sale.

  10. Ryan said:

    By the time I’ve heard the word “product” for the third time I’ve forgotten what the product is. As a side note, what about radio commercials that don’t repeat the vendors name and location? Sometimes they pique my interest about half way through and I’ve missed the most important information. Next time the commercial plays I’m more often than not distracted by something in traffic and I’ve missed it again – and these commercials are written by professionals?

  11. DMWrecks said:

    You’d be amazed, here in Silicon Valley, how many people forget this simple rule in their copy and call everything by the most unimaginative nouns.

    Also, Today, at my blog I was talking about Business Suicide via Direct marketing. The demise of the largest Chevy dealer in the U.S. today is a direct result of that.

  12. Lou Wasser said:

    Phil: You’re right of course. I was simply suggesting though that even the word “it” is better than the word “product” in this instance.

    Bob: In certain industries — most notably, the investment and financial industries — a euphemism for the word “salesman” or the disgustingly bland “sales representative” could pose a compliance issue.

  13. Gerold Braun said:

    Thank you for the words on your forbidden-list. This is very useful advise.

  14. John Platt said:

    This reminds me of the ads for Video Professor. “Try my product.” I kind of like the personal tone of the commercials, but the use of the word “product” is jarring.

  15. jason boucher said:

    joint flex is the best joint cream i already used. Hands down

  16. said:

    Wonderful post! We are linking to this great post on our website. Keep up the great writing –

  17. Renu said:

    wow interesting and very helpful article
    thanks for sharing such a valuble thought Click Here!

  18. WriterMosharef said:

    If you want to get a smattering of deep and dark eyes, do you want to
    be a woman? What is the source of the birth? Masara What’s the magic
    to have with your hands and think? Little Sneaker The tube is hidden in
    a unique beauty. Only One-two quotes that can make you completely
    Luke! If you want to multiply the beauty of the eye without the mask
    It’s not possible!
    Use new to dry up Mascara

  19. WriterMosharef said:

    Now the fashion of luscious embryos is going on. Easily Home The
    eyebrows can be thicker.Easy way to get thicker eyebrows

  20. WriterMosharef said:

    The mild pink glow on the cheek is a good health, On the other hand, a measure of beauty. Makeup time A lot of people bring that light glow using a blouse, but You should also be careful when applying a blanket. Skin If you don’t get the blanket shade with the color, the Good mtr. So Luke Perfect to make the right Sheder You need to put it in the bladder. What kind of skin colour There’s an easy guideline to use.
    How to goodie your skincare With the fit of the sheds?

  21. 7 Detoxifying And Cleansing Vegetable Juices said:

    The mild pink glow on the cheek is a good health, On the other hand, a measure of beauty. Makeup time A lot of people bring that light glow using a blouse
    click on this link

  22. majece majece said:

    On you can find useful info about free essay writing tools. It was really useful for me and my friends

  23. jcp kiosk said:

    Nice article to see. jcp kiosk

  24. mian40 said:

    very nice article to see great work

  25. miangee said:

    what a nice article keep going

  26. mianch said:

    Repeating the word “product” sounds (and reads as) cumbersome. As you suggest, Bob, repeating the product name would be much more effective and probably the best solution.beautifulyhealthy

    But even repeating the word “it” comes off better than the present way: “Doctors love it, patients love it, you will love it.

  27. juliannart said:

    Activate Commonwealth Debit Card is required if you received a Commonwealth Debit Card recently. If you want to use your Commonwealth Debit Card for the first time then you need to activate Debit card to activate my new commonwealth debit card

  28. Egypt tours said:

    I’m sure that the last article. It is more interesting and very useful.
    Most of the other compositions have been done to death.

    I would be interested in seeing the flower idea. It might help many people get an idea of how to begin to step outside the “that’s the way we always did it” box.

  29. Corwin said:

    We all immediately recognize the flat snoot, wrinkled face, and large expressive eyes of the loveable Pug. The Pug breed’s roots can be tracked back to Imperial China in 700 B.C., during the time of Confucius, when the breed was known as lo-sze. Imported to England in the 16th century, the breed quickly became a popular lap dog among the aristocracy. A Pug named Pompey is even credited with alerting Holland’s William I, Prince of Orange, to an assassination attempt by Spain. Over time, pugs have been the favored breed or both royals and celebrities—from Napoleon and Queen Victoria to Andy Warhol and Rob Zombie.

  30. Ndure Shoes said:

    Ndure offers their customers jackets of all types, including Denim Jackets For Women, leather jackets, puffer jackets, and Sherpa denim jackets. Buy the best available winter blue jeans Jackets for women online in Pakistan from Ndure. We bring you high quality bomber jacket, Puffer Hooded Gilet for womens online.

    Ndure offers their customers the highest quality tracksuit for women of all types, including ladies jogging bottoms, jogging suits, velour sweatsuits and gym track suits.

    Ndure offers their customers the highest quality jackets for men of all types, including leather, bomber jackets and windbreaker jackets. Get the best available Men’s waterproof jackets online in Pakistan.

  31. anna said:

    To pytanie które mo?na cz?sto us?ysze? w kr?gach ludzi zainteresowanych ranking zak?adów bukmacherskich sportem i zak?adami sportowymi – “Na jakiej stronie najlepiej obstawia? mecze?” albo “Na jakiej stronie bukmacherskiej wysy?acie kupony?”. Gracze pomagaj? sobie nawzajem i polecaj? portale z zak?adami o renomowanej opinii, szerokiej ofercie i wysokich kursach. Lub odradzaj? tych, którzy s? niewyp?acalni, nieuczciwi lub np. ich witryna/aplikacja jest niefunkcjonalna. Je?li korzystasz lub korzysta?e? z us?ug której? z firm obecnej na naszej li?cie i jeste? z niej zadowolony, zach?camy do oddania g?osu. Pomo?esz w ten sposób pocz?tkuj?cym typerom wybra? bukmachera na start z którego b?d? zadowoleni.

  32. run 3 said:

    Your article is great, I have read a lot of articles but I was really impressed with your writing. Thank you, I will review this post. To get to know me, please try to talk to me.

  33. Adriel nicolas said:

    Top Gun Jacket is on trend right Now a new movie has come whose name is Maverick, has used this jacket which gives killer look So buy this now from Slim Fit Leather Jacket and enjoy 20% off use coupon code GET20

  34. John Bennett said:

    I appreciate how this article was written with full of impressive words. I have learned more information after reading this. Big thanks for sharing this informative article.

  35. Superior said:

    It is hard to find a reliable washing machine service in Issaquah. However, you can rely on Superior appliances for this purpose. They offer one of the best washing machine repair services in your town at affordable rates. Their significant experience makes them eligible for offering you remarkable facilities.

  36. Kishore Mishra said:

    Yo Yo Honey Singh’s new song Note Fenko is now available here Note Fenko Lyrics and Video. You can listen to it and read its lyrics.

  37. Oxeltech said:

    Embedded software development services involve the creation and programming of software that is embedded in electronic devices, such as microcontrollers, sensors, and other electronic components. These services are typically offered by specialized firms that have expertise in electronic engineering and software development.

  38. Joseph said:

    Why not be more specific and use the name? | French Drain Installation Wilkinsburg

  39. iHost VPS said:

    Experience the power of virtual private servers without breaking the bank with our Cheap VPS Linux Hosting. Our budget-friendly plans offer the flexibility and control of a VPS environment, combined with the reliability of Linux. Whether you’re a developer seeking a test environment or a small business looking for cost-effective hosting, our plans deliver robust performance, root access, and seamless scalability – all at an unbeatable price. Join the Linux VPS revolution without compromising on quality or your budget.

  40. BabyBoxShop said:

    A baby present is a thoughtful gesture to commemorate the arrival of a sweet little one. Discover a wide selection of baby presents designed to make both parents and babies smile. Find the ideal gift to mark this special occasion.

  41. BSNS Consulting said:

    At BSNS Consulting, we offer you unparalleled Business Advisory Services near me. Our team of expert consultants is dedicated to providing personalised solutions that drive growth and success for your business. Whether you’re a startup or an established company, our strategic insights and industry knowledge will empower you to make informed decisions and achieve your goals.

  42. iHost VPS said:

    At CAVPS, we prioritize the security and convenience of our clients. Our CaVPS client login portal allows you to easily access your VPS hosting account, manage your services, and monitor your resources. Experience a user-friendly interface and robust security measures to safeguard your data and ensure a seamless hosting experience.

Leave a Reply