The best brands are distinctive. Not just in how they look and act. But also how they talk. The way their personality comes to life with words.
We’re lucky to have lots of words to choose from. All 171,476 of them in the OED. Ultimately though, we all have the same words work with. This makes talking in a distinctive way harder. Particularly for some brands in some categories. There’s a real risk of sameness and a lack of standout. One way round this problem is to say it strange.
A slight twist of language. An unexpected turn of phrase. A veer off piste from the norm. It can be as straightforward as adding an ‘s’ to the end of ‘simple’. Or demonstrating your difference by saying you ‘think different’ not ‘think differently’. Or mixing up common sayings to charming if somewhat nonsensical effect like ‘sweet as nuts’.
Strange sayings are sticky. More importantly, they’re easily repeatable. They cement themselves squarely in the national vocabulary. To be endlessly parroted everywhere from playgrounds to pubs. Suddenly everyone’s talking like a meerkat. Or answering their phone with ‘whassssup?’
And isn’t that the point of ads? To get your brand noticed. To make it famous. To get people talking and thinking and acting the way you want them to. To influence culture. Not just be influenced by it.
More than that, it’s about making your brand culturally acceptable. Because brand choices say a lot about who we are. And as much as we all like to think we’re uniquely awesome, we really want to be socially acceptable.