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Monday, January 8, 2007

For all your fill in the blank needs

At all costs, avoid using a headline or subhead that says: "For all your ______ needs." It's a phrase we've almost come to expect from mom-and-pop shops: For all your hardware needs; for all your leather needs; for all your lactate-free food needs. But in the world of strategic advertising, it's a phrase that's offensive because it's lazy; it reaches for the nearest phrase from the trite shelf. No pro worth his or her salt would write it. It doesn't meet the challenge of communicating the product's key selling message in just a few words.

So I was surprised when my wife showed me a two-page spread in today's Sunday paper for a major brand-name skincare product line. The headline said: "Always healthy. Always beautiful." But the subhead said: "For all your skincare and beauty needs."

What a waste of premium real estate.

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