Sally Ormond of Briar Copywriting Ltd, discusses the current trend in the overuse of the term ‘technology’ in marketing and poses the question, is this term now going to become a cliché?

Far from yearning for a return to the Dark Ages, when I say ‘technology’, I’m not referring to technologyin its physical form. Instead, I want to look at it from its overuse in advertising. 

The main culprit is the carpet cleaning sector, which seems to have taken a liking to it recently. 

Only last night I saw the advert for the Vax carpet cleaner with its ‘SpinScrub technology.’ A few hours later it was the turn of Shark, heralding its ‘anti-hair-wrap technology.’ 

It’s almost as if the marketing agencies think that by merely calling a feature new technology, they’ll fool us into believing this is the latest must-have gadget.

A cliché waiting to happen

When a word or phrase is used to death (e.g. out of the box, as sick as a parrot, marketing-leading, ground-breaking etc.,)it loses its intensity. What was once a vivid term is turned in a mushy string of letters that is no longer interesting or effective. 

Basically, their overuse has rendered them impotent and stale. 

Technology is in danger of ending up on the cliché list. 

Don’t let your marketing turn to mush

There is, of course, a legitimate use of the term technology within marketing. With the rapidly expanding digital environment in which we live, technology is everywhere. 

However, calling a feature of your product a ‘new technology’is a rather lazy way of showing a potential mind-blowing benefit. 

Rather than just saying ‘SpinScrub technology,’ why not show what it means: the rotating brushes scrub each carpet fibre, lifting out dirt that can’t be reached by conventional cleaners. 

OK, it’s a long way of saying it, but it puts the benefits in an instantly understandable language.

For the Shark example, rather than ‘anti-hair wrap technology,’ how about ‘hair is separated and sucked into the dust cup leaving the roller hair-free, so you don’t have to clean it manually.’

Both tell the consumer what’s so great about the appliance and rescues the word ‘technology’ from the cliché graveyard. 

Save technology 

Technology is not the first, and most certainly won’t be the last word that’s overused. 

To me, it’s a lazy way of telling people something is new. How about being more inventive? 

Even ‘innovative SpinScrub deep cleaning’ or ‘advanced anti-hair wrap roller’ is more explicit about what these features do. 

Next time you’re about to create content to market your new product, think carefully about your terminology. Come up with something that speaks to your consumers and shows them exactly why your product is different. 

Yes, you’ll have to get your thinking cap on. No one said copywriting was easy. However, being different from all the other marketing blurb out there will give you a head start on your competitors.