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?'

Who or Whom?

The use of WHOM is considered a very formal word and is now generally replaced with WHO. WHO is the subjective form while WHOM is the objective form. 

Who (subjective: person doing the action) will mow the grass? 

Whom (objective: person receiving the action) did they pay to do the job? 

The use of WHOM in standard writing is limited to sentences where WHOM follows a proposition. 

The managers to whom you spoke are at the meeting.

Where there is no proposition WHOM can be deleted. 

The following sentence shows how it reads with whom included, then we have re-written the sentence to exclude whom. 

The workers whom the manager met are all going on strike.

The workers the manager met are all going on strike.

As you can see whom becomes unnecessary.



The Importance of Proofreading

Proofreading a document you have written yourself in preparation for publishing seems like a simple task. Unfortunately when we proofread our own work, we often read what a document should say and not what it does say or we miss simple errors. By having a fresh set of eyes look over your work, the tiniest of errors is usually picked up. I often cringe at some of the errors I come across when reading correspondence for other businesses or even mainstream publications. Businesses like Absolute Marketing Communications offer proofreading services. If you don't have the resources to pay someone to proofread your work have someone who hasn't read your document give it a once over.

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.