Stop saying “Ultimate”

Stop Saying Ultimate!

Enough with “It’s the Ultimate [insert any noun here].” It is sooooo overused that it now rubs elbows with “acme”. The Ultimate Guide to Internet marketing—yawn. The Ultimate solution for hair loss—right. The Ultimate Zzzzzzzzz.

Copywriters—move on! No one can hear you any more. Even if you add “absolutely” to it you won’t get traction. It’s like a “weird secret” or “ridiculously easy tip.” in mobile ads.

If you want to sell something don’t just quantify it, tell me why it will make my life better. Engage me, thrill me, titillate me even. Using a quantifier is lazy. What kind of blue hoodie is it? Why it’s the ULTIMATE blue hoodie. No it isn’t. Dig people, dig. Use your words, there is a whole dictionary of them.

Great copy, compelling copy, original copy, is all about putting yourself in the shoes of your customer. What will it do for them? What does it taste like? What does it smell like? If it were an animal, which one would it be? Does it speak to you with an accent? Would it eat tofu? You aren’t going to get to anything interesting with “It’s really good. No, it’s the best. No, it’s the ULTIMATE!”

Make up your own words. Apple came out with a Powerbook. It isn’t power and it isn’t a book but we all heard it and thought “Yah, that’s cool.” They didn’t call it the Ultimate Laptop, and they actually could have, it was that amazing.

Not every piece of copy is going to be a masterpiece but give it more effort than just adding “ultimate”. If you do—la la la la la, I can’t hear you!

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Sarah Fletcher
President/Creative Director Catalog Design Studios Inc.
Co-Founder Catalog University

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