Don’t Say This Bad Word In Your Commercial – Part 1 – Commercial Advertising Expert Tim Burt Explains

There are a few hard-and-fast rules in commercial advertising.

Occasionally, some can be “bended”, but this one can’t. I’ve heard it called by two different names, but both carry the same meaning:

  • Paralysis By Analysis
  • Choice Paralyzes Response

Simply put:

Do not give the audience multiple options 


I preach this unbreakable tenant of advertising to businesses, agencies, and students alike quite often:

“Tell The Audience Where To Go And Why To Go There”

For example:

Let’s say for a moment that you’re on vacation, and you’re looking for the nearest dentist because you cracked a tooth.

When you ask them, a local resident offers you the name of their dentist who is nearby, and can (and will) help.

Now, the pressing question: exactly how many ways will the local tell you to get to the dentist?

Usually, one.


If they gave you two or three different ways to get there, you’d get frustrated to the point of seeking the help of someone else who didn’t try to confuse you.

Unfortunately, in virtually every commercial that is on the air or in print right now, this rule is violated consistently.

What’s The “Bad Word” That Shouldn’t Be In Your Commercial Advertising?


As in:

  • “Call XXX-XXXX  or visit our website at (domain).com”
  • “Visit us at (location) or online at (domain).com”
You’ll also hear this being violated in almost every car dealer commercial, promoting multiple autos with differing price/lease figures.

The Bottom Line

Your commercial should be one singular message with one singular call to action.

What should that “call to action” be? Only you as the business owner will be able to answer that.

What exactly do you want the audience to do? Call? Visit your website? Go to your physical location?

Pick one.

Only one.

About timburtmedia

30,000+ ads globally. Commercial Advertising Marketing - world-wide audio producer, voice-over talent, copywriter.
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