When tone of voice goes wrong

When tone of voice goes wrong

Consider this:

Now, there may be some people in the world who do love Windows XP. It’s just that I don’t know any of them.

I used to have a PC which ran Windows XP. It was actually a new operating system when I got it. It worked OK. It was fine. But I didn’t love it. Who does love their operating system? I submit that few people love their Microsoft operating system. Am I being unfair?

So who wrote that headline? Who approved it? Who wrote the follow-up line, ‘You might just fall in love all over again’? What!? Actually, I fall in love with people, and occasionally places, possibly even the odd animal. But not a computer operating system.

It’s just so inappropriate.

But the thing is, it’s written in copywritten copy. It’s got that copywritten swagger to it. That ‘Love X?’ saunter. The knowing wink of ‘Meet X…’

So that means it sounds as though it’s written correctly for an ad. But it’s all wrong. The thinking behind it is wrong.

It reminds me of Lloyds TSB’s timeless strapline:

Banking worth talking about

Banking is only worth talking about if they’ve screwed up. If they’ve transferred out £2000 and then tried to charge you for going over your overdraft limit – then you’d talk about it. If your bank quietly gets on with banking reliably, then you don’t even think about it.

But that’s a strapline that sounds like a good strapline. It’s got that copywritten edge. Except the thinking behind it is all wrong.

There’s a lot of copy around like that.