Ironically, my best friend, Doug, and I were watching this commercial closely as we ate the very sandwich being advertised.
While I held the small sandwich in my left hand and crammed French fries in my mouth with my right, we laughed uproariously at one scene where three cowboys were sitting around a fire holding this paperback novel-sized sandwich in both hands. It was so big that that it could fill even the ravenous appetites of these cowhands!
“Oh come on, they make it out to be this huge sandwich,” Doug scoffed as he waived off the commercial with his right hand and looked at the puny sandwich laying in its paper wrapper on the coffee table between us and the television. “Give me a break.”
The exaggeration of this product has stuck in my head ever since. We knew the truth but the unsuspecting customer who saw this same commercial would not be too happy after believing the premise of the ad, driving to the restaurant, ordering this “grand chicken sandwich”, sitting down and unwrapping it only to find that it’s only a shadow of its media representation.
Some would call the “Chicken Sandwich Bait-and-Switch Caper” a simple exaggeration.
I call it dishonesty.
Whenever a company advertises its product and says it’s one thing when it’s really another, it’s fraud.
The Number One Rule in Copywriting: Be Honest.
Now, being honest doesn’t mean you can’t brag about your product. In fact, it frees you to do so.
For instance, if your business was rated #1 by the local newspaper, tell them in your site. Have a link taking them to the article. That’s an accomplisment and should be trumpeted, whenever possible, on your site or in your copy.
Also, if you have a customers who say you have the “Best Fondue in Town” post that on your site, too. Yes, it’s a subjective comment but it is from an enthusiastic customer who loves your product and wants everyone to know. (Make sure you have their permission, of course.)
Look, honesty doesn’t mean boring. It just means being enthusiastic about your product or service and telling the world about it without exaggerating or stretching the truth.
Good copywriting is honest copywriting. It will increase your business and create a loyal customer base.
You won’t regret it.