The Single Word You Should Never Use When Writing Commercial Copy

I was going to write a nice article about how to write a nice commercial that will produce nice results for your nice client.  But, I was distracted by a nice cup of coffee.

So instead I set aside my extra large, steaming hot, foamy, almond milk latte in its rustic ceramic mug and decided to write a thoughtful article that will give you actionable insight on how to write descriptive copy for commercials that will help you paint more vivid mental pictures and therefore generate genuine interest and curiosity from qualified prospects about your client’s business.

You may have already guessed that the word to never use in your commercial copy is:

Nice

What is nice?  

If you’re tempted to describe something as nice, ask yourself, “What makes it nice?”

Nice? Actionable Insight for Descriptive Copy
The property has a nice yard.

The yard …

…is a full acre

…is manicured to perfection

…is lined with trees, giving it privacy

…is compact and easy to care for

…features a flower garden in full bloom

The restaurant has a nice selection of breakfast items.

The breakfast menu…

…has eggs Benedict presented to you on two halves of a freshly toasted English muffin each of which is topped with a smoked slice of Canadian bacon, a perfectly poached egg, and a creamy hot butter hollandaise sauce that is prepared the moment you order it.

…fourteen breakfast selections that give you the freedom to enjoy variety every time you visit.

The car dealer has a nice selection of used cars.

The dealership…

…has the largest used car inventory within 137 miles.

…has 12 different models that you can own for payments under $198 per month.

…uses their proprietary 135-point quality control selection process to ensure that every used vehicle they offer to you meets or exceeds their exacting standards.

There is always a better word or phrase to use other than nice.  Nice means nothing.  It’s your responsibility to use words that paint pictures sell.  The column on the right evokes emotion.  My wife, who doesn’t like eggs benedict, proofread this and said that her mouth began watering when reading this description.  Does the listener’s mouth start watering when they hear your copy?  It should.

Can you just use a synonym for nice?  Sometimes. Is a “pleasant view” a better description than a “nice view?”  Barely. Is there emotion in the description?  Does it make you long to see the view?  What would you give up to see a “pleasant view?”  Compare that to this description:

“A stunning view of the glowing orange sunset over the glass-stillness of the private lake.”

Is there emotion in that description?  What would you give up to experience it?  Does it create a desire inside you that is palpable?

I am challenging you to be thoughtful and imaginative when writing copy.  It will become easier as you experiment with it.  You will begin to see opportunities to be more descriptive in everyday conversations as well as writing copy that conveys emotion.  If you’re not already a wordsmith, use Google, use a thesaurus, ask a friend, talk to your peers, ask your Facebook friends, send me an email for suggestions.

As Maya Angelou said, “People will remember how you made them feel.”  

So, get out there and make them feel.

(Editor’s note: he didn’t put aside his delicious latte to write this, he just drank it more slowly.)