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Advertising and Language: The Power of Words

It is possible that the evolution and progress of humanity have, as a deeper root, our communication skills. The use and abuse of language has allowed us to push our thinking to the outside - or distort its content - and send misleading messages, which in disciplines such as marketing can severely affect the level of persuasion a brand would like to achieve on its consumers.

Countless campaigns are developed around the world with the sole purpose of positioning products and generating massive brigades over the shelves on what are the most powerful retail chains in the world.

Both Advertising and Marketing use graphical, textual, verbal or sound communication tools in order to construct messages that lead to consumption of products and services that are offered by a brand that invests in these efforts of persuasion.

Whichever way a brand chooses to establish a dialogue with its customers, the use of words has been critical in the development of stories that touch the susceptibilities of the people they are directing these efforts to.

Here are some variables that are influential in the development of messages designed to communicate brand value:


"The unintelligibility is the perfect weapon for those who have nothing to say," goes an aphorism. It's easy to overwhelm our end target with a dense mass of words that in the end do not transmit anything. A message designed to be plainly perceived is undoubtedly the most difficult thing to develop, but also happens to be the most efficient way to create an impact and awareness. What is read easily was hardly easy to write.


To be able to communicate effectively we must develop a central concept, focusing the effort on an anchor story, a solid and attractive premise in which the personality, values and proposal of the brand will be present. Linking a brand with a good story allows consumers to associate it with emotional aspects and be more receptive to its message and more likely to its consumption and acceptance.


A brief, but precise and clear message always generates better results than an entire passage written in an encyclopedic boast. Please do not mistake a brief message with a short one: "It is not the same the brief than the short: the brief shuts up on time, the short shuts up early”, according to Andres Neuman.


Environment is crucial when it comes to effective communications. Whether in marketing or in any other discipline, the knowledge of the environment (its influences and components) in which a message is going to be issued, will give us some guidelines in the choice of words, references, tones and proper resources that will allow a substantial penetration of the brand’s premise in its target.


To take advantage of a language, it's necessary to know about it - its rules, resources, figures, structure, etc. Only he who has knowledge of its proper application can communicate accurately, and clearly convey ideas to consumers. Rhetorical figures make it possible for grouping concepts, making allegories, highlighting qualities and wrapping up the receiver in a story well told intensifying their attention.


As people, we create associations in our minds that not necessarily converge with reality. Alex Grijelmo mentions in his book "Seduction of the Words", that advertising uses phrases, such as "Free as the Sun" in order to promote liberating qualities in certain products, which are actually inaccurate, considering that the sun remains static all the time, always coming out at the same time and serving a rigid period very far from being as free as it’s mentioned. However, people tend to associate terms like "freedom" with large spaces, like the sea, and other aspects of nature, as the star in question, perhaps because of the ideal of breaking binds with everyday civilization. Thus, understanding certain terms that serve as positive or longing symbols, though perhaps inaccurate, we can build a powerful and emotionally provocative message to the end target thereof.

Thus, knowledge and good use of language enables us to construct powerful texts or writing scripts that connect with the consumer at a deeper and emotional level. Taking inspiration from the great thinkers and poets, of the beauty of literature, interest ourselves a little more about the resources offered by our language, and of course, be constantly observant of the everyday society we live in and how this society perceives and associates, we provide useful tools to distinguish ourselves from our competitors. And who can forget Scrabble’s copy: "It's our word against theirs."