You can find yourself with 2 possible routes when phrasing a marketing piece, such as a social media post or advertisement copy:

Positive Voice vs. Negative Voice.


A positive voice focuses on the advantages of your business and aims to encourage and motivate the audience.  

“Our products are superior!”

The benefit of choosing positive phrasing in your marketing piece is the optimism and trust associated with your brand. Additionally, a particularly successful positive message can have a lasting impact. Most people can think of at least one “feel good” ad that has stuck with them. However, without a strong strategic approach, a simple positive tone can fail to stand out and make the impact necessary for the audience to take action.


A negative voice may instead focus on the fears of the targeted audience and the consequences of not using the advertised product or service.

“Avoid catastrophe by choosing our services.”

Playing further into the audience’s emotions this way invokes an emotional response or greater sense of urgency. A common example is Shock Advertising, a tactic used to deliberately offend its audience. You may also choose to use negative phrasing to differentiate yourself from competitors by intimidating the audience from choosing elsewhere. There is certainly more risk involved with a negative tone. Certain controversial takes may even bring about a moral dilemma; be sure to approach thoughtfully and pre-assess the potential effects of your message.


Understand that the voice you choose to use will impact how your audience interprets your brand. Still, both certainly offer different advantages to your marketing efforts as long as there is an intentional, persuasive strategy behind your piece.