Do you have words you just don’t like? At the risk of sounding snarky, I have a few words in advertising that really bug me.
The words are vast (and vast array), myriad, excellence and strive.
Strive: You see this a lot in mission and vision statements. Striving does not mean achieving. The word is defined as to struggle or fight vigorously. Replace strive in your mission statement or advertising with the words, vigorously fight or struggle against. I think you’ll see a difference.
Myriad: I’ve used this word myriad times, but it always sounds pretentious. It shouldn’t be used in marketing.
Vast or Vast Array: I heard this word in a furniture ad referring to its vast selection. It just sounds wrong to my ear. The Grand Canyon is vast, a row of La-Z-Boys is not.
Tradition of Excellence: It is definitely time for this phrase to go. It is such a lazy phrase, and colleges/universities seem to enjoy using this phrase most often. In all our research, I’ve never heard a teenager (or parent for that matter) say they want to go to a college with a “tradition of excellence.” When you think of services you have received recently, do you ever think “excellence” or a “tradition of excellence.”
I saw this JWU digital ad for an online education experience. It’s so excellent, it has “competitively priced degree programs,” but the rest of the copy on the landing page is too hard to read because there is a photo behind the text — again, more excellence.
Hard to live up to a tradition of excellence. Better to be honest and more straightforward.