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Tone of voice

Bombastico ni Fantastico!

By Copywriting, Tone of voice, WritingNo Comments

You know that friend of yours, for whom everything was wicked, skill or lush… for whom even a slight upturn in immediate circumstances or atmospheric conditions was epic, awesome or occasionally mental? The one who would have an out-of-body experience at the smallest gift that everyday life can bring?


People that positive are great. But they don’t usually succeed in marketing because they’re exhausting, and you quickly learn to water them down or tune them out entirely. Also, there’s a very human response to such behaviour: to not take them too seriously on matters of merit or taste.

Yes, that’s my long-winded way of saying ‘gushing doesn’t persuade’. Superlatives don’t land well. The best thing ever, usually isn’t. I’ve missed out on so many great books, films, records, gigs, holiday destinations, restaurants and other valuable experiences simply because someone wouldn’t relent in telling me how unequivocally brilliant they were, and that my life would not be complete until I investigate. It’s human nature to resist such incursions.

The same applies to selling, whether it’s objects or concepts, lifestyles or reassurances. 

Besides outright cynicism and telling fibs, gushing is pretty high up in terms of what I really don’t understand (and really don’t like) about pushy, presumptuous marketing. To suggest that there’s a hole in my soul – or a fundamental existential flaw to my cosmic journey – because I haven’t yet parted with cash to secure a transformative, transcendental experience – is never going to persuade me. I resist it, to the very core of what little soul I have. And as far as I can tell, I’m not alone.

‘Ah, George, you FOOL!’, I hear you scream. ‘You’re in denial! The seed is sown, and you will invest!’ Well, if that’s marketing, I don’t want to be complicit, and I’ve avoided or flatly turned down most opportunities to become so. I can’t lie. I can’t gush as part of my persuasive prose, even if I really believe in what I’m hawking at any given time; mostly because I judge my writing on how I’d react to it, being the cynical git that I am.

And I think that’s healthy, if I’m honest.

So, what am I actually saying here?

Well, this:

Don’t fall over yourself to persuade with your words. Simply inform, in a calm, human, relatable and faintly enthusiastic fashion. People react far more positively to a non-pushy, informative and insightful conveyance of genuinely good reasons to find out more. Not necessarily to buy, just yet, but to be given the space to consider your modest pitch.

The more you leave people to make their own minds up, in their own time, the more likely you are to win them over.

That’s what I meant by bombastico ni fantastico.

And yes, I know it’s linguistically inaccurate.

AI copy – what do I think?

By Copywriting, Tone of voice, WritingNo Comments

I’ve dedicated 16 years of my adult life to becoming a better writer – of course I give a monkey’s about what AI might mean to my livelihood. A very large monkey’s, in fact.


With one eye closed, my mouse hovering over the ‘close window’ button, and knowing I’ve enough fuel in the van to reach the coast, I’ve explored a few articles on the matter. So far, I’m still sitting here. So far, I’m not overly frightened. But equally, I’m not daft or dismissive enough to ignore AI’s potential to transform how, collectively, we go about our business of persuasive written communication.

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Rewording as you rebrand

By Tone of voice, WritingNo Comments

Of the myriad things I lend my expertise to, being part of a brand overhaul is one of my favourites. Being there when the brand is aware it’s outgrown its current guise means everyone involved is receptive and excited. It’s a great opportunity to look more closely at the core character of the business, and find new and engaging ways to convey its unique propositions. It’s a chance to re-invent the cause, breathe fresh air into the look and feel, and sharpen the messaging to convey key themes more effectively.

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Why develop a tone of voice?

By Tone of voiceNo Comments

Used effectively, words shape how people perceive us. What we say, and how we say it, helps us articulate who we are and what we stand for. As much as – if not more than – how we look and behave, it’s what we say and how we say it that defines us. As individuals, we use this to charm, persuade, reassure and convince people. Read More