A Case for Straightforwardness

Our weekly “A Linking Mess” series offers a handful of articles that have recently caught the attention of our Sr. Copywriter.

This is the best thing I’ve read in a long time.

No, I’m not aping the hyperbolic headlines you see in social media just to get you to read, although I’ve been meaning to write about that. I really mean it about this piece. The writer is a copywriter by trade, and he laments the overly complex and lofty language used in advertising and other marketing. He argues that if a company can’t describe its product and its benefits, then even a talented writer won’t be able to do it. And that’s when you end up describing something like accounting software as a “complete suite of solutions” or a “holistic, cross-platform experience.” And there’s that word – “experience.” Marketers often talk about selling an experience or an emotion. Or they describe a product as being “aspirational.” There’s a place for those things, of course, but I get impatient when I’m being sold a cleaning product with the promise that if I use it, I’ll have more time to live a more awesome life. I’d prefer more straightforward messaging, like: “decreases cleaning time by 30%,” even if the claim is a little dubious.

For Complex Products, Using Simple Language is a Value-Added Solution

The cost and benefit of logos.

I love logos. Doesn’t everyone love logos? As a boy, I’d draw wretched versions of sports logos over and over in a notebook, especially the pirate with an eyepatch of my beloved Oakland Raiders. Now, I pay more attention to corporate logos, and this article contains an infographic with a lot of information about some of the most famous brands and logos in the world. It’s fascinating. Did you know that Pepsi spent $1 million just to redesign their logo in 2008, but Twitter bought a $15 stock image for its first logo? The infographic explains the effects of different colors in logos, displays logos that have largely stood the test of time, and people’s recognition of logos.

Logo Infographic

Would you take a chunk of money to quit your job?

Amazon has an interesting strategy to getting rid of people who don’t want to be there.

Amazon Offers $5,000 to Quit