Ultra Tune or Ultra Fail?

I recently saw the new ad for Ultra Tune. I must say I’m a little surprised there haven’t been enough complaints to have the ad taken off the air. If you haven’t seen the ad, it depicts two girls driving their car when they break down on train tracks. A train is coming and hits the car yet the girls walk away unscathed. 

The problem with the ad is that it negates everything we are constantly reminded about in the media about the dangers of stopping on train tracks while driving. I think this Ultra Tune ad is irresponsible and I’d be very surprised if there isn’t more of a fuss made about it. What message is it sending to young drivers?

I believe a brand has a responsibility to it's customers to advertise facts. The facts are: if you are stuck in your car on train tracks when a train is coming, you are not going to walk away looking glamourous and Ultra Tune most definitely won't make it in time to save you!

Ultra Tune has come under attack for another ad which objectifies women and allegedly misleads viewers into believing they can win a trip to Wimbledon (the tennis tournament, not the English town). It will interesting to see whether Ultra Tune pulls their ads voluntarily or wait to be told by the ACCC or the advertising standards board.

It makes me wonder, who is designing and executing Ultra Tune's ads?

Too Much Information?

There has been such an evolution when it comes to the creation of ads, especially in print. I was recently researching ads to see what was happening out in the market place and was amazed by the contrast between ads of various companies. Thinking about my own experience in advertising, I realised that the variation in advertising often comes down to the person signing off on the ad before it goes to market.

In my experience, there are two types of print advertising: informational and graphic. A lot of ads are high in written content often communicating all the attributes of a product or company in a single ad. The graphic ads usually have an amazing graphic that tells the story. These I find are the ads that usually stand out in my mind. There are so many avenues that consumers can explore to get more information on a product that it hardly seems worth writing an essay of copy for an ad that may gain 5 seconds of attention. 

Don’t get me wrong, copywriting is important but we just need to know where to draw the line. Consumers can often visit a website or call customer service for more information on a product that its often not necessary to add all that information in an ad. I believe that valuable time should be spent on developing a great tagline and graphic representation to tell the story. 

A great example of this is an ad I found for Burger King. Their ad was a whopper sitting in a too small Big Mac box with the tagline: ‘Silly Whopper, that’s a Big Mac box.’ It was simple but it got the message across in a few words. There was no need to explain the size comparison between the two burgers. The graphic and the simple tagline did it all.

Quite often its not just about whether to have all that information but whether there is space for it. A few years ago I worked on an ad for a product that came in 10 colours. While working with the graphic designers we decided that it made more sense to have a graphic of the product in each colour rather than have each colour listed in the ad. It made the ad more visually appealing as well as less text heavy. 

If you’re fortunate enough to work in an organisation that has in-house designers you often have the luxury of being able to come up with a couple of variations of an ad to see what is more visually appealing. 

So next time you're working on an ad ask yourself: 'Would I stop to look at this ad?'

Knowledge is Power!

People are often surprised when I come out with a tidbit of information that seems so obscure or unlike me. They give a strange look and ask how on earth I knew that. The age old saying ‘know a little about a lot rather that a lot about a little’ is so true. I swear by this saying, not just personally but also professionally. 

When you work in an organisation it is so important to know what your competitors are doing or what current trends are. Especially if you are in marketing. Can you imagine if all your competitors had a Facebook presence and you were still trying to figure out what Facebook was? That’s an extreme example but a valid one I think. 

It is so important to be on top of current trends. This is especially true if you run your own service based business. Just because you’ve held a client for 10 years doesn’t mean they won’t call you tomorrow and say they’re leaving you for the new agency down the street that’s more edgy and on top of current trends. 

It’s not just the mechanics of your business that you should be on top of, it’s all aspects of life. It seems impossible to know absolutely everything and you don’t have to! What I’m saying is if your client is in the electronics industry be aware of what their competitors are developing, where they’re advertising, what sponsorships they’re currently working on. If they’re in the fashion industry know which celebrities are wearing their competitors brand or if there are opportunities for your clients brand to be worn on a red carpet event. Most of the time reading mainstream media will keep you in the know so it’s not really a chore and doesn’t have to take up precious work time. You’ll be surprised what you may discover just by reading a weekly gossip mag!

Just remember: Knowledge is Power!


Does It Make What You’re Saying More Important?

Tautology is saying the same thing twice. We don’t often realise we are doing it but we commonly emphasise a word by adding another word with the same meaning either in front or after the word we are using. By eliminating tautology we can make our writing clear and concise.

Common examples are:

  • Past history
  • Completely finished
  • False illusion
  • New innovations
  • 8am in the morning
  • Foreign import
  • True facts

What Constitutes A Good Ad?

When creating an advertisement there are a few aspects to consider to ensure the effectiveness of your ad. 

Some things to consider:

  • Your creative approach is consistent with your brand’s advertising objective (product features, comparison of your products features with a competitor’s product features). Pricing is not always a good comparison
  • The suitability of the ad to the target audience
  • A strong message or concept (ensure the message is not overwhelmed by the creative execution)
  • A call to action. How do customers contact you? Where can customers purchase your product?

Taking these things into account when developing your ad can contribute to the success of your campaign. If you don’t have copywriters in your business consider hiring an agency or contractor like Absolute Marketing Communications to not only write the copy but also give creative direction on your ad as it develops. This not only means you are getting quality content for your ad but an objective opinion on the effectiveness of your ad.