"Keep It Simple" Should Be Writing Theme for Us All

Norbert Hobrath

ISSUE 09
I saw a concert by Michael Stanley (of the famous Michael Stanley Band). He was just emerging as a local rock star in the Kent/Akron/Cleveland area in the mid-70s when I loved his music. Hearing him live again was a treat. He delivered the same passion in his music as almost 40 years ago. Why? I believe it is because he loves what he does. 

"Keep It Simple" Should Be Writing Theme for Us All

I’ve felt the same way about words and writing. I love them. Big words, little words. Long run-on sentences that describe biting details. Short ones too.

I always study writing and various styles of all kinds of authors. Writers from the news field such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times and their ‘get to it’ approach of conveying a story, and also authors of books in all genres and themes that weave stories to lure you deeper into each chapter, and advertising copywriters that present products and services in ways that make you WANT them right now. Each has its own place.

But what I like best about all of these writers is their uncanny ability to keep things simple. Complex technologies broken down into clear concise English. And sometimes simple thoughts expanded upon with thought-provoking thoroughness. Take a look at the headlines of your newspaper. A few words sum up a lot. Now there is lesson learned for all of us.

So from my archives of saved articles and great writing examples, I bring you this advertisement that appeared in the Wall Street Journal a few years back. It was part of series of forward-thinking ads from United Technologies. The ads did not talk about United Technologies. However, when you read them, you just had to see what company had spent that much money to put these in the WSJ. And you may possibly have inferred that they were a progressive company… one in which you might to own their stock. Smart stuff!

So here goes as I re-present the copy from the ad, with full credit to United Technologies. (I also present how the full-page ad appeared in the Wall Street Journal, so you can see it for yourself. This was very impressive as a full-page advertisement.)




KEEP IT SIMPLE


Strike three.

Get your hand off my knee.

You’re overdrawn.

Your horse won.

Yes. No.

You have the account.

Walk. Don’t walk.

Mother’s dead.

Basic events require simple language.

Idiosyncratically euphuistic eccentricities are the promulgators of triturable obfuscation.

What did you do last night? Enter into a meaningful romantic involvement, or fall in love?

What did you have for breakfast this morning? The upper part of a hog’s hind leg with two oval bodies encased in a shell laid by a female bird, or ham and eggs?

David Belasco, the great American theatrical producer, once said: “If you can’t write your idea on the back of my calling card, you don’t have a clear idea.”




I hope this little reprise of a great past ad helps you think and write more clearly in all your communications. If you’d like to talk more on communicating better with your clients and prospects, send me an email. I’d like to talk to you. Really, I do.


Norbert Hobrath believes in the power of content marketing, both in words and images, and the powerful combination of these two. For more than 30 years, he has developed interesting, informative and influential strategy and content for both industrial and service-based B2B clientele. He has also directed marketing and communications programs as Director of Marketing Communications for a worldwide manufacturing company, and as Communications Manager for the Fortune 500 American Greetings Corporation, and for a BASF chemicals company. He enjoys promoting corporate and product brands through effective storytelling. He is President & Chief Content Officer of Hobrath Group, LLC in Cleveland, Ohio. www.hobrath.com

See archive of all blog posts.

LinkedIn Twitter

20110 Winding Trail, Strongsville, Ohio 44149 USA
Phone: 440.212.3520    Contact Us    www.hobrath.com    
© All contents

Hobrath Group LLC