“Take down this number…”

write-it-down-inspirelsOne of my recent Facebook posts mentioned a trend in several radio commercials currently airing on the stations to which I listen. The ads concern debt repayment, loan repayment/default, tax problems, and I think even one on cleaning up negative material about you on the Internet. I think these companies offering assistance must use the same advertising agency or else the script is handed to one writer. During each of these commercials, the announcer is very dramatic and urgency laces his voice. Most of the time you can tell he’s reading from a script because the rhythm is not natural. During the spiel he reads a piece of text that runs along the lines of “Grab a pen and take down this number or store it in your cell phone, but call…”

This line is in every one of these types of commercials. And the ads play during nearly every break in the regularly scheduled program. And after about the third time with the same line, I want to throttle whoever came up with it and insists on it being in every commercial.

Normally, I tune out commercials unless they’re interesting or humorous. Jingles are nice and stick with you, which is the point. Many companies use jingles. Oscar Meyer, Coca-Cola, etc. Either with words or just a tune that you’ll recognize. Or be bothered by in some cases. There was a phone company, Vonage, I think who used a song that was really annoying because it was the same series of notes over and over…and over and over. I wouldn’t call the company just BECAUSE the tune was so irritating.

Radio commercials are the same. I catch myself singing along to some. “Midwest Basement System’s got the fix, call 289-1606.” That’s for a local company who specializes in all things…basement-y. (Yes, that’s what they say, too.)

Another one is “The Woodsmith Store.” That’s the entire line for the West Des Moines store and it a bit distracting because when the person sings this I expect more words to come but none do.

“There’s a helpful smile in every aisle.” Hy-Vee grocery stores.

“Duea treat you right? We do.” A car dealer pronounce do-wee. Get it?

So I get it with these companies. A jingle helps. The same action-oriented line, however, in every commercial for some financial assistance or the like, just grates on the nerves. And they never change. I can tell, just by the tone of voice, that the line is coming. I’m not going to take action because first, I’m not in need of their services, and two, I’m driving so I’m not going to be doing anything like storing a number in my cell phone.

I’m this way about books. I’ve read some that lack strong writing because the author uses words or phrases in a way that does not fall under the term ‘creative license.’ I remember one book that was a spy thriller with government agencies listening to the enemy’s phone calls, tapping into emails, and other such things a’la the NSA. However, when the people discussed what was happening, it was all ‘chatter.’

“Yes, the chatter today was about…”

“I agree because yesterday’s chatter…”

“We’ll analyze the chatter from the tapes…”

Way too much ‘chatter’. Yes, I know that’s what they call it, but find a different word, okay?

Many characters use catch phrases. In many books, Eve Dallas says, “Bite me!” Robb, the author, however, doesn’t overuse it so it’s cool.

Anyway, I just wanted to get in a minor vent this week because I’ve been tuning to another station whenever these ads begin. The line is just awful because of the repetitiveness.

What lines, phrases, words do you hear often enough to warrant a groan?

If you can’t think of one off hand, grab a pen, write down this website or store it in your Favorites, but comment.

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