Using "you" instead of "we"

Using “you” instead of “we”

Order Description
This is for my Marketing, Design, and Advertising class

Too many writers automatically use “we” when talking about the merits of their company for a print ad or a website. This exercise is to help you go beyond that initial default and write more effective copy. Copy that uses “you” engages the reader more – it makes them really think about what this product or service can do for them. Spell it out.

The book being used is “The Copywriters Handbook” Third Edition by Robert Bly
What You Need to Do:

1) Read the Transatlantic Translations ad scan posted in Week 4 content. Ignore the goofy illustration and the copy beneath it. (What the heck!?) Just take note of all that “we” language. We, we we. You are going to be editing this ad.

2) Check out the Transatlantic Translations website for info on the company and ideas of ways to edit the ad copy. It’s a whole lot better than that ad, but it still doesn’t show a lot of “you” language. It’s a resource to find out more about them.

Web Site

3) Refer to pages 38 and 39 in Bly book – he gives you some short samples of “you” language.

4) Read the article posted on Week 4 content, on turning “you” language into “we” language, with samples.

5) Edit the headline of the ad (the name of the company is never a good headline…who cares?! Give the reader a reason to care – a benefit.) ) and the body copy of the ad and the call to action so that they are more effective, so they use “you” language instead of “we.” You do not have to make the ad longer, or totally rewrite it – just edit what they have so that it is more effective. If you find, while reading their website, that the info in the ad is outdated, feel free to update it. But do not rewrite the ad totally. This is an editing assignment. Just turn we into you.

Turn in a doc with the new headline and the edited copy (just a text file – do not do a new layout for the ad or anything like that) to the Individual Asst # 3 Dropbox by the deadline, Sunday, June 5, 11:59 pm.


****Common Phrases Made Great by Using ‘You’ Instead of ‘We’*****

By Tim Riesterer on

When the littlest piggy cries, “Wee, wee, wee” all the way home, that isn’t a good thing. And neither is saying “we, we, we” all over your website, campaigns, and marketing and sales messages.

If you could do only one thing this year that could make an instant difference in your messaging, you’d replace all your “we phrasing” with “you phrasing.” You phrasing is more effective because it makes sure your prospect or customer is at the center of your story and engaged in the conversation.

Why Use You Instead of We?

Using the word “you” instead of “we” helps transfer ownership to your prospects and customers because it causes their minds to unconsciously “try out” your solutions as you describe what they can do with it. Your audience member is no longer just a passive listener; he will be more actively engaged in your ideas and your story. In fact, you probably noticed I’m already using the technique in this blog post to gain your attention and give you ownership over implementing this strategy!

Still Skeptical?

You phrasing has been proven to have a measurable impact. Researchers in Tempe, Arizona tested attitudes toward cable television. They used two different scripts to sell the cable services—one using the third person and one using you phrasing. Researchers found that when you phrasing was implemented, it doubled the number of cable sales. Now, that’s impressive!
Once you start practicing with you phrasing, you’ll find yourself in your customers’ and prospects’ world more than you have ever been. That will help you connect your story to your customers’ story in a powerful way—one that they’ll want to listen to because you’re addressing their needs and concerns, and not your company’s.

Here’s a list of common phrases that can become more effective by using you phrasing:

“Our company allows you to… ”
“Next, I’m going to… ”
“We need to be able to… ”
“What if I could show you… ”

Now, see if you notice a difference in these phrases…

“What you’ll be able to do is… ”
“Next, you’ll be able to… ”
“You need to be able to… ”
“What if you could… ”
“What you can do is… ”

The difference is subtle but powerful. By using you phrasing, you are helping your prospects’ and customers’ unconscious minds feel like they’re participating. In fact, you phrasing isn’t just a technique; it should be your mindset. You phrasing forces you to live in your prospects’ and customers’ world, the place they need you to care about and understand if you want to close more deals with them.

Using “you” instead of “we” is a simple and quick change, but one that will have notable results if you apply it correctly. So, next time you’re creating a marketing campaign or other marketing communications content, use the word “you” to capture the attention of your audience. By doing so, you’ll make them want to consider making a change and to pick you.
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