Do Your Advertisements Sound Like Fake News?


2016 is gone, and with it, the last traces of trust that the public felt toward the media. During the Presidential election, record-setting numbers of obscure and misleading news stories flooded television networks and made their way to social media platforms, namely Facebook.

The majority of these false stories included deceiving trigger words and generalized phrases intended to draw people in and spark intrigue. Credibility in these stories, however, was severely lacking, and unfortunately, many fell victim to their dishonest claims, only to later be embarrassed by the truth.

Amidst all of the uncertainty, President Trump famously coined the now-viral term, “fake news,” and since then, people of all ages have incorporated it into their daily lives. While many refer to this “Trumpism” in a humorous manner, the reality is that the “fake news” epidemic has significantly heightened the general public’s overall skepticism.

With trust levels at such a low, how can your business genuinely market itself and gain new customers who will be believers in your products and services? How can business owners earn the public’s trust and prove that the claims in their advertisements are undeniably true?

Specificity is the cure for overcoming consumer skepticism. In order to convey that your business has your potential customers’ best interests at heart, you must be overly intentional in your marketing methods and avoid generalized claims that just anyone can make. This means that your business must be ever explicit in its advertisements and should provide worthwhile examples of why you are a trustworthy option.

One of the most vital marketing strategies a business can employ is to avoid the use of modern-day advertising clichés. Vague statements immediately trigger cynicism within the minds of the public, potentially flagging a business’ claims as the equivalent of “fake news.” Today, we are providing you with a list of ambiguous clichés that should be avoided altogether in your business’ advertising efforts:

  • “Quality customer service!”
  • “Absolute lowest prices!”
  • “For all your _____ needs!”
  • “Conveniently located!”
  • “You won’t believe these deals/savings!”
  • “Don’t miss it!”
  • “Bring the whole family!”
  • “Family owned and operated!”
  • “For your shopping convenience!”
  • “Friendly, knowledgeable staff!”
  • “Fun for the whole family!”
  • “Hurry in!”
  • “Going on now!”
  • “But wait! There’s more!”
  • “In business since _____ (1492)!”
  • “Not to mention…”
  • “Savings storewide!”
  • “The best _____ anywhere!”
  • “This is the place to be!”
  • “This won’t last long!”
  • “We service what we sell!”
  • “When the savings are gone, they’re gone!”
  • “Your ______ (Mother’s Day, Christmas, Graduation) headquarters!”

Anyone can make these claims and therein lies the problem. If the statements in your current advertisements could easily be used by other businesses (especially your competitors), ask yourself, “How can we be more specific?” Remember: specificity is the cure for overcoming consumer skepticism.  When modern-day clichés are avoided and specific examples are well-utilized in your business’ advertisements, you will come across as honest and transparent, leading consumers to feel much more compelled to trust you.

If this list seems overwhelming or dauntingly stringent, contact Zimmer Radio & Marketing Group. Our award-winning creative services team is well-versed in developing unique advertising campaigns that are exclusive to each, individual business and are sure to convert radio listeners into customers.

Don’t be flagged as “fake news.” Go “big league” and use specific statements in your advertisements. They trump clichés. Every time.

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