Subtitles are on.
And necessary for the new season Line of Duty. The anticorruption police drama is known for its fast-paced plots, tense action and high-powered jargon, but episode 1 was a cut above.
"We can keep it on the DL only if we’ve got a CHIS inside MIT."
There’s no handholding, recaps or voice overs with LOD – you’re on your own. And plenty of people were scrabbling for Google within the first few minutes to decode the acronyms.
To a non-viewer, this might seem incredibly hard work. Especially at 9pm on a Sunday. But this is part of LOD’s charm.
Because once you’re up to speed, you no longer feel like a mere civilian, you’re part of the team, trying to work the plot out with them. It’s incredibly engaging.
But of course you can’t get away with this with marketing copy.
Mentioning ESG, ISA or IR35 on the first page of your website with no explanation is going to send people packing.
"What’s the OCP on my SIPP, IFA?" is a cool, but unlikely piece of client dialogue unfortunately.
But, as we’ve seen, with a drama, making an effort draws you in. Being fed everything on a spoon (watching Lorraine Kelly) can send you to sleep.
And also, authentic language lends credibility – in LOD’s case, the intense naturalism makes the sometimes-bonkers plot twists a whole lot more believable.
So, what to do when it comes to marketing financial advice?
You want to make things accessible, yet convincing. But you don’t want to patronise or to downplay the sophistication of your service.
It’s a tightrope.
This is where thinking about what stage your target audience is at can be a useful exercise.
Are they looking for a particular solution, but don’t know how to get there? If so, focusing on their problem first and how you fix it second will show them you’re The One.
Or do they know what they’re looking for and want someone to provide it? For a niche audience with particular financial concerns – such as the NHS pension – name-dropping terms such as Total Pensionable Pay early on will show you’re in the know.
This simple prep will have your copy sucking diesel, as Ted would say.
Go on, son.