Sparked by Taco Bell’s recent ad for their Romanian location, we thought back on a blog we wrote about improving company culture, where the biggest takeaway was to “be a good person.” In another blog, we spoke about how to be better when using Twitter, where the first step was to “act like humans act.”
These all link back to a major problem with a majority of brands nowadays:
They take themselves too seriously.
We get it: you have to be credible. Credibility is tied with being professional, and being professional means you write technically, dress nicely, don’t curse, so on and so forth. It’s how you bring in the big prospects, the bread-and-butter clients. However, too often do we forget that everyone behind everything within most industries is human. They have emotions. They have hobbies. They go home and lay their armor down and watch Netflix or go to a bar or workout. But therein lies the problem: they become “themselves” when they get home. People are afraid to let that side of themselves bleed into work. It makes sense – you don’t mix your personal life with work. Doesn’t that just seem so outdated though? Isn’t it okay to just… Relax?
The way this is being written right now is relaxed – casual. It’s not technical. It’s staccato and paced and toned, and styled in a way that may not be grammatically correct, but you’re reading it in a specific way: my way.
The best advice I ever received as a writer was from my 9th grade English teacher:
“Write like you speak.”
So that’s what I’m doing and, in turn, I’m breaking a lot of grammatical rules. But guess what? That’s okay. The point of advertising, marketing, communications – whatever you want to call it – is to connect with people. Without a connection, casual or professional, there is no sale, action, etc. Some businesses feel as though being professional and being a human are mutually-exclusive things. It’s possible to be a great writer and not wear a suit and tie. You can easily be an incredible designer and curse while you drink beer at 4 pm on a Friday. Is it professional in the defined sense? Well, no, but we’re getting there.
I may not be the best writer, but I feel like I can connect with my readers. That, in turn, is what matters more. If I can connect with you, I can build a relationship. We can level with each other and then it’s easier to care about one another. Very existential, I know, but it’s the first step in establishing trust, whether it’s through a blog post, Twitter, Facebook. You trust people you like, which is good because a lot of decisions are based on who we trust and like… Even if that “who” is a business.