My Beef With Subway

When you are imprecise with language in copywriting, it conveys an impression of sloppy thinking… and can also undermine your credibility. A case in point: the new commercial from Subway that proclaims “Everybody wants to try Subway’s hot beef sandwich.”

The problem is that word “everybody” – which is so transparently an exaggeration that it defies believability.

Do people on low-carb diets who are avoiding bread want this sandwich – which comes, of course, on bread? What about vegetarians? Do they really want to try this new beef sub? How about people who don’t like subs… people who don’t eat fast food… people who prefer ham or chicken to beef?

A better approach: “Beef lovers nationwide can’t wait to sink their teeth into Subway’s new Hot Beef Special Sandwich.”

This identifies the audience (meat eaters) and conveys the image of desirability and popularity while avoiding the obvious lie of “everybody.”

[Ed. Note: Copywriting expert Bob Bly knows the secrets behind writing copy that sells – and including specifics is one of the easiest ways to make your copy stronger. ]

Bob Bly

Bob Bly is an independent copywriter and consultant specializing in business-to-business and direct marketing. He has been hired as a consultant by such companies as Sony, Chemical Bank, J. Walter Thompson, Westinghouse, and Prentice-Hall. Bob is also the author of more than 50 books including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Direct Marketing (Alpha Books), Targeted Public Relations, Selling Your Services, How to Promote Your Own Business, and Keeping Clients Satisfied. A phenomenal public speaker, Bob will share with you how easy it is to start your own business. Whether you’re ready to quit your job or are just looking to make a little money on the side, you’ll want to hear Bob’s advice.