Avoid Logical Contradictions in Copy

May 9th, 2012 by Bob Bly

A TV commercial for the new movie “Snow White and the Huntsman” dramatically proclaims — “This is no fairy tale!”

It reads well and sounds dramatic.

The only problem: it’s not true. Anything about Snow White is by definition a fairy tale. So the copy is  one big lie.

Am I being a nitpicker here? Or am I right on the money?

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10 responses about “Avoid Logical Contradictions in Copy”

  1. Ryan McGrath said:

    I’ve seen this sometimes in financial copy…

    “The stock-picking secret the mainstream media doesn’t want you to know about…endorsed by the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, and the Associated Press.”

  2. Bob Bly said:

    Ha! Great example, Ryan. I’ve seen that too.

  3. PJ Graham said:

    No, that annoyed ad annoyed me too.

  4. Brendan said:

    So, how could we improve on that? “This is not your ordinary fairy tale!”

  5. M.R. Maguire said:

    I agree with you. Of course it’s a fairy tale, as everyone knows!

    The dramatic “This is no fairy tale!” conveys danger and perhaps evil lurking behind the curtain (or forest).

    I’m thinking of things like “Carve out some time to see it..” or “He wanted her heart…”

  6. Hainley said:

    What you posted made a bunch of sense. However, what about this? suppose you were to create a awesome headline? I ain’t saying your content isn’t solid, but suppose you added a headline that grabbed people’s attention? You could glance at Yahoo’s front page and watch how they create post titles to grab viewers interested. You might add a video or a related picture or two to grab readers interested about what you’ve got to say. Just my opinion.

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