I was writing marketing copy for a client this week when I found myself fixated on the word “and” again.
Unlike last week, it wasn’t in a sentence-starting capacity. Instead, it was a matter of whether to add it into a list of adjectives or leave it out.
Such a simple little word. Yet its placement or non-placement can make a major difference in how your copy comes across.
It might be a subtly stated major difference, but it can be a big one nonetheless.
That holds true if you’re writing marketing copy, your next blog post, an article to be professionally published… or any other form of written expression.
To see how, let’s look at one example in particular.
Let’s say you’re writing marketing copy about a high-end spa. It’s pricey, yes, but you want to emphasize exactly why it’s pricey and how worthwhile it still is.
In that case, you could write something like this:
Take a stroll through the climate-controlled butterfly gardens, relax in either the indoor or outdoor hot tubs and pools, or play the pampered part up with a cocktail and bonbons in one of our sensationally scented relaxation rooms. When you sign up for the Premiere Package at Tortiolla Spa of Islet Heights, you reserve the right to enjoy our enticing, luxurious, lavish facilities at your leisure.
That’s pretty decent copy, if I do say so myself. Heck, I want to go there! Though I probably wouldn’t pay, being the cheapskate that I am. Not for mere decent copy.
Then again, sometimes decent copy can become great copy with just a little extra work. And sometimes it’s such little extra work that it’s worth a laugh… all the way to the bank.
Take a stroll through the climate-controlled butterfly gardens, relax in either the indoor or outdoor hot tubs and pools, or play the pampered part up with a cocktail and bonbons in one of our sensationally scented relaxation rooms. When you sign up for the Premiere Package at Tortiolla Spa of Islet Heights, you reserve the right to enjoy our enticing, luxurious and lavish facilities at your leisure.
See what I mean? That “and” changed things up.
That one little extra “and” did make a difference in writing the marketing copy above.
In the first example, the thought of enjoying “the enticing, luxurious, lavish facilities” at my leisure is a tempting one, sure. But the three adjectives in question rather run into each other a little too much.
I wouldn’t call them overwhelming the way they are. They just don’t pop.
That’s not the case with the second paragraph though. The “and” forces “lavish” to stand out especially. And “leisure” doesn’t come out looking too shabby either.
Perhaps that’s because of the harsher “nd” sound that prompts a verbal and mental hesitation versus the gentler “ing,” “ious” and “ish” of the adverbs. Perhaps it’s the very contrast between them.
Or maybe it’s simply the nature of a conjunction that does the trick. In this case.
It is important to point out that “and” isn’t going to save every single list. Honestly, not every single list needs it.
But when writing marketing copy like the examples above, I’d be more likely to literally buy into #2 than #1.
All because of the added little word “and.”