Hyperbole Marketing: Does it Make You Go Click?

Jul 15

Recently I’ve been looking at various company websites and their approach to selling products and services. Some take a “Zero Bull___” approach…keeping the message straightforward and letting the work speak for what the company does. No hype. No in-your-face jargon. Then others end up with copy that comes complete with dozens of adjectives strung together like beads, capped letters and exclamation points to underscore how amazingly awesome a new product is. I’m left thinking, which approach makes more sense? And what do people want to read, see, what will make them go click?

Is the copy that is so over the top with runaway statements propel you to want to learn more? Or is the “tell me what you offer, no fuss, no muss” approach the way to go? There’s hyperbole marketing where you have videos advertising the greatest thing since slice bread and how this [whatever the product may be] will revolutionize the industry [whatever the industry], give you domination over the marketplace, and leave your competition in the dust. They kind of remind me of those Crazy Eddie commercials back East in the ‘80s. Then you have other sites where the messaging is subtle, and the work takes the lead. But is this too boring, too staid? Does the message get lost? Do we need all the noise to stand out from the mountain of e-clutter we get every day, all day? Will we not pay attention if the message isn’t in your face? Do we have to scream, LOOK AT ME!!!!!?

I think it comes down to personality and the way we send and accept messages as well as the automatic filters we have when it comes to information… depending on where you fall in the equation you either feel comfortable with delivering and receiving messaging that hits you over the head, or you just want to deliver and receive the facts, ma’am.


  1. Mike Smith /

    Unfortunately with today’s severely preoccupied society with a very limited attention span, you IMO have to come at them with both barrels loaded in the marketing dept..

  2. Kim McGraw /

    I agree with Mike, quick and to the point. Value and price reign over silly gimmicks.

  3. Such hyperbole marketing (and there’s SO much of it these days) does make you stop and think about how messages are constructed; websites that employ such tactics remind me of the cheesier infomercials that abound on TV today…hype hype hype, then throw so many adjectives at the readers and be so damn enthusiastic about it all that hopefully they won’t notice that what’s for sale is the same old stuff(actually, it’s a SYSTEM!!! It’s always a SYSTEM!!! And if you call right now, we’ll take off 1 payment, so you’ll only make 4 easy payments of $19.95!!!) in a slightly different package. It’s the Emperor’s New Clothes sale — convince the buying public that it’s the best thing, as you say, since sliced bread…and only the random little girl in the crowd (or the savvy readers) will be the ones to realize that, aside from the razzle dazzle, there’s nothing really there. Heaven knows I’ve fallen for my fair share of 2 a.m. infomercial hyperbole sales tactics back in the day (anybody remember the Paint Stick?), but I’ve since learned to look beyond the hype — and only buy based on the substance of the product, rather than the sizzle of the message.

  4. Ron Williams /

    I guess it comes down to the individual… some people prefer gimmicky ads- it gives them something solid to remind them about the company or product. “You’re killing me Larry!” from the Sit ‘n Sleep radio and t.v. spots… who hasn’t heard that, or get instant recognition whenever one of those ads is aired?

    People who are more down to earth would obviously prefer to be given the facts, without all the gimmicks. Maybe it depends on the product you are selling. Advertising agencies get paid a lot of money to decide which route a company should go, and what is the most successful type of ad for any given product or service.

    Obviously a mortuary is better off using the soft sell approach, but video game marketing is better served with a “hit ‘em over the head approach.”

    Personally, I think the marketing strategy should fit the product/service and both types of advertising have their place…

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