My post earlier this week about Hipmunk’s “funner-er” ad prompted a couple of readers to contribute other examples of super-comparative coinages in advertising.
From HildebrandBurke, a new Twitter friend, I learned about KFC Australia’s recent “Goodest Get Together” promotion, an extension of the international “So Good” slogan. The agency, Ogilvy, went a little nuts inventing new words for this explanatory video:
“You simply take a good thing, emgooden it, and voilà—you’ve made it gooderer, as in ‘That’s the gooderest thing I’ve ever tasted!’”
Yeah, it’s pretty silly*, but even sillier (sillierest?) is the utter absence of brand referents. No food, no restaurants, no happy customers—what’s the deal? And why should I care?
Here in the U.S., reader Jenne reported seeing a store promotion that used the slogan “Make it creamier-er-er.” “Sadly,” Jenne wrote, “this explosion of ‘er’ did not make me remember what the product was.”
It was Kraft Natural Shredded Cheese.
Now, I understand that advertisers are constantly looking for new ways to say “superlative.” And I certainly don’t have a problem with wordplay and word invention. But I’m tired of the copycatting. When Android used “funner-er” back in 2008, it got attention. Then, in 2010, a bunch of companies hopped on the bandwagon: BlackBerry used “closer-er,” Captain Morgan used “delicious-er,” and Old Spice coined “fresherer” and “freshershist” [sic!]. Last year Maker’s Mark tried to sell us on “Maker’s-er” and United Airlines flew “worldwider.” Now Hipmunk is recycling “funner-er.”
It’s getting, shall we say, tedious-er.
Sticking an -er or an -est on an adjective doesn’t tell me you’re creative. It’s no longer a way to stand out from the competition. All it says is that you’re too lazy to do some truly original thinking about what your brand means.
* I give partial credit to “emgooden,” but it’s not as good as “embiggen,” whose coinage is usually attributed to “Simpsons” writer Dan Greaney, who used it in a 1996 episode. In fact, the first citation for “embiggen” appeared in 1884.