Ad copy that attempts to say everything – sometimes says nothing

It’s ads like this one for Site X Data that may explain why real estate people are often so confused by vendors.

Maybe I’m dense. Maybe this copy works for Fidelity. So this is only my opinion but as an advertiser and as someone who came to this page looking to learn about the product, I came away feeling as if the very basics of good copy writing were avoided. I was left misinformed and confused – a state I think many real estate people find themselves in when viewing vendor collateral.
Let’s analyze. 

What they’re offering is the SAME POWERFUL DATA as they always have. What does that mean to a potential first time viewer? In my case, it rendered me helpless. Made me feel like I was late to their party and expected to catch up with the conversation on my own.

The copy informs me about the product’s ENHANCED INTERFACE AND FUNCTIONALITY but never told me exactly how. If you’re selling me a saw, I want to know how fast it can cut. If you’re selling me enhancement, I want to see what it once was and what it now is. 

The copy sternly advises that INFORMATION IS POWER. AND YOUR BUSINESS NOT ONLY THRIVES ON IT. IT WILL STARVE WITHOUT IT. I agree. Hence the emptiness in my belly wondering what it is they are selling.

Further down, the copy informs me that the product has been completely updated and refreshed. I know. The headline made that crystal clear. If there’s nothing new to say, white space always works.

I’m eager to learn more about this elusive "enhanced, powerful" data, but all I keep reading is jargon and ad speak. You know, the ponderous verbs that are the hallmark of forgettable copy: streamline, utilize, enhance, maximize, facilitate, empower, interface, tools, power, 24/7 – terms that say everything, yet says nothing.

Here, to quote verbatim:

You’ll find 24/7 online access to a full array of tools that will help you in your day-to-day tasksultimately increasing your revenue, enhancing efficiency, reducing risk and providing your customers with a better overall experience.

Seems to me that could describe every product sold to real estate over the past twelve years. 

The ad also attempts to connect every single entity in real estate with every single issue all these entities ever encountered by assuring the reader that the "enhanced and streamlined data reduces risk and increases revenue for just about everyone as well as providing fingertip access to leads that will serve to help build strong relationships with customers."

Can it cure ED too?

Why can’t vendors distill their message down to simple, easy to understand language? If your can’t pitch a product or service clearly using one simple sentence and drive the offer home with a second simple sentence, then perhaps the product has issues and the copy writer is doing their best to cover it up. In this case, I cannot honestly say because I can’t figure out what the product is.

Regardless, in my opinion, this is a persistent problem that not only originates from vendor copy to potential real estate customers, but is ongoing for consumers who face agent and broker messaging where their entire consumer proposition is also hidden – wrapped like jiffy pop inside a self serving, elusive real estate centric message.

I subscribe to a different discipline. One that gets to the point. Tells it exactly as it is. Simple. At a glance. Easy to understanding. Honest. No hyperbole. No hidden anything. Transparent.

I believe that if your ad copy leaves the reader wondering what the product or service is, despite all those words used, the ad creates less leads, more unqualified leads and more work for the sales people. Seems to me that is not any advertisers ultimate intention.

Next, I will post the ten disciplines of copy writing we subscribe to at 1000Watt.

– Davison