As copywriters, we spend our working lives toiling to be clearer, to be snappier, and to be more engaging. But sometimes the opposite is needed, and we have to write copy thatâ€™s as dull as ditch water â€“ and possibly as unclear.
Itâ€™s not something I have to do often, but occasionally itâ€™s required. For example, if you need to include lots of terms and conditions in a brochure, you probably donâ€™t want them to distract readers away from your key messages. Design and typography can help, but sometimes just making the words unappealing can mean they donâ€™t jump out at your audience on their first look.
You can see this happening in politics all the time, where answers to tough questions are deliberately unclear, long-winded and tedious. Particularly on radio or TV, the interviewer will be so desperate to keep their audience interested, they wonâ€™t follow up and demand clarification, but will move on to another question.
Iâ€™m not suggesting marketing copywriters use that kind of tactic, but itâ€™s certainly interesting to observe how others do it.