As a copywriter, I love exploring the nuances of language and finding the one word that will hit the point home–because despite what the thesaurus says, no two words mean exactly the same thing.
And sometimes, changing just one word can make a HUGE difference.
Case in point…I recently heard a new radio ad for Volkswagen Certified Pre-Loved Cars. While the ad itself is cheesier than Velveeta, the use of “Pre-Loved” is brilliant for 5 key reasons…
- Every car brand has certified pre-owned cars now–so with a single word, VW has set theirs apart from the pack
- Used car buyers are always worried the previous owner drove like a Tasmanian devil and had amnesia about maintenance– but (theoretically!) someone who “loved” their car would never do those things
- We know all decisions are ultimately based on emotion…and obviously, “pre-loved” is going to strike much more of a chord than “pre-owned”
- “Pre-loved” also makes the purchase more personal–tapping into the fact that we prefer to buy from other people instead of big, faceless companies
- Social proof–a powerful persuasion principle that says if we’re uncertain, we’ll look to others to see what to do–means that since someone else loved the car before, you probably will too
Of course, using the word “love” IS a bit risky. I’d normally think twice about it if men are a large part of the audience. But with 78% of people saying they love their car in a Progressive Insurance survey–and we all know of men’s long-time love affair with the wheels they drive–I’d say VW made a pretty smart call.