Copy That Delivers On Customer Expectations

27 March, 2010

Copywriting, Language, web content

magical lights above an outspread handThere are few places in web copy where the word “magical” can be effectively used to describe…anything. Like we really BELIEVE XYZ product is “magical….”

But Apple claims just this in its advertising with the impending arrival of the iPad.

“Magical and revolutionary product….”

At first glance, I automatically go for the traditional connotations associated with magic:

  • Magic as in sorcery, or “the practice of consciousness manipulation and/or autosuggestion to achieve a desired result” (Wikipedia)
  • Magic as an illusion, or “the art of appearing to perform supernatural feats using sleight of hand or other methods.” (Wikipedia)

But here’s another way Apple could be using “magical” to describe the iPad:

  • Magic as in computer programming, or “code that performs complex tasks behind a simple interface”(Wikipedia)

Which is it? Which meaning are we hitching our carts to when we see the words:

“magical and revolutionary”?

The word, “magic,” is loaded and stirs many images in our minds: Merlin, wizards, magicians, magic card tricks, crystal balls, sorcerers, etc. In this case, the value and quality of the Apple product supports the word- we know based on Apple’s reputation for phenomenal design, products, packaging, and now advertising leads us to trust the word. The iPad looks magical, its launch was a media frenzy.  Like I said, few places can we really believe it when a company/retailer tells us one of their products is “magical,” and it’s effective here because this company is a heavyweight and we are expecting …. magic.

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