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We're Short on Euphemism Today

August 25, 2008  

We live in an age of euphemism. A used car isn't "used," it's "pre-owned"; we're sold "bathroom tissue," not "toilet paper"; and no marketer in her right mind would dream of calling wrinkle cream anything but "rejuvenating moisturizer." This is why the decidedly un-euphemistic name of a Beverly Hills clothier—Jimmy Au's for Men 5'8" and Under—immediately caught our eye.

It's a clunky name, to be sure, but it spells out precisely what customers can expect. The frank theme continues at the store's website, which doesn't waste any time coming up with less blunt synonyms for "short." It's everywhere. Nearly every sentence of copy includes some variant of the word, each used in a completely matter-of-fact fashion.

Take the first sentence from the page on design philosophy: "Jimmy Au is passionate about giving shorter men the chance to wear tailored clothing that fits properly with a sense of style." Or this, from a discussion of Au's creative evolution: "His unique measurements eventually led to a complete suit where the coat and pants made a shorter man look taller." It's a straightforward presentation, and one that hasn't offended customers or prevented the shop from being named as one of Forbes.com's "Ten Best Clothing Stores for Men."

Jimmy Au skips the patronizing lingo to tell his customers in unvarnished terms about fashionable, well-made clothing that doesn't accentuate their short stature. It's exactly what they want to hear, and that's Marketing Inspiration.

More Inspiration:
Lewis Green: Why Outsourcing a Blog Might Be Smart
Peter Kim: 5,000
Paul Dunay: Is Podcasting Social Media?


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