Groupon's Public Voice Guide:
Tradtional Marketing Cliches and Crutches to Avoid:
1. Positing our deal as the obvious solution to the reader's imaginary problems:
- EX: Do you have this problem? Well today's deal is the solution!
- EX: Whether you’re hosting an Oscar viewing party or a football tailgate, Camille’s can provide sustenance to fit everyone’s taste.
2. Worst/Best. Thing. Ever. (unsubstantiated superlatives)
3. Don't presume to know anything about the reader. Example of Groupon Voice violation from a chiropractor deal. Even if the idea is funny, positioning it this way will turn the reader off. These two examples illustrate good ideas that were presented as assumptions about the reader, and then edited to speak in broader terms and fit within Groupon voice:
- BEFORE: Your back is peeved about all those prank quarters glued to the sidewalk you bent over to pick up this year.
- AFTER: The typical American back suffers 2-3 fractures a year from attempting to pick up quarters prank-glued to the sidewalk.
- BEFORE: After you startle awake with your face encrusted to a bowl of vegan cookie dough, you usually take your sleep-eating guilt for a late night lap around the Wal-Mart.
- AFTER: After being startled awake by the cold bowl of cookie dough encrusted to their faces, most mortals take their sleep-eating guilt for a late-night lap around the Wal-Mart.
4. Repetitive use of the imperative. The reader doesn't want to be told what to do, so don't fall into the trap of "try the burger..then try the desert...finish it off with a glass of wine." Instead, just describe those things without insisting that the reader do anything in particular. If they like how you describe the burger, they'll figure out on their own that the burger can be enjoyed by drinking it.
- BAD: Next comes the sanitizer, which kicks bacteria and other micro-troublemakers to the curb.
- COMMENT: Micro-troublemakers is nicely worded, but "kick to the curb" is empty imagery.
- ACCEPTABLE: Next comes the sanitizer, which evicts bacteria, other micro-troublemakers, and their furniture from your home, leaving them on the streets playing micro-craps.
6. Avoid using exclamation points.
7. Words that are so abstract they don't mean anything...
- Adjectives: unique, great, perfect, interesting
- Verbs: optimize, enhance, utilize, maximize, all the -ize's
8. Corporatespeak (proactive, efficient, productive, innovative, ideation, etc.)
9. Read about narrative point of view.