Little Move, Big Results

It seemed like a relatively small thing at the time. A client, the owner of a printing and imaging company, called to ask whether he should stay in the Yellow Pages. We not only advised him to stay in, we also convinced him to up the size of the ad and change the format so the ad would stand out better on the page. The resulting ad pulled in plenty of business, including a $50,000 order – about 50 times the usual size of first orders. Not surprisingly, our client was smiling broadly when he delivered the news. It should also come as no surprise that he agreed with our recommendation to go with an even bigger ad in next year's marketing and advertising program.

Advertising Royalty

Have you seen the Budweiser TV ad where the bottle cap is turned over and placed on the top of the bottle? The cap becomes a crown and the viewer gets the key message: Bud is the King of Beers. This is also a fabulous example of compression: countless meetings, piles of creative briefs and streams of emails were all compressed into one simple image. Plus this spot scores very high on the speed meter. Just one look and you get it. You could watch TV all day and not see another spot that comes even close.

What were they thinking?

Click ad for larger image

Imagine you are in a briefing meeting with your advertising and marketing agency. The Creative Director jumps up and proclaims he has found a fresh, new way to promote your web-based sales management solution. He then unveils the ad (see right) and says, "The combined impact of the picture of the Rhinos and our dynamic headline (UNLEASH YOUR SALES TEAM) will stop readers dead!". He continues droning about the wonderful copy and eye-filling layout. Then, full of self-satisfaction, he sits down and the room erupts in applause – NOT!

How did this ad ever get approved? What does a row of Rhinos have to do with the product or the promise of benefit (better sales results). And what is the connection between the image and headline? Are we to assume that Rhinos are kept on a leash? Or are we to assume that the client's sales staff are wide-eyed, slow moving creatures with large beaks?

Click ad for larger image

Why didn't the brand manager ask for another idea with a closer connection of the image, headline and promise of benefit? It is possible. Just look at our Rhino ad for Munich Reinsurance.

If you find another example of an ad that deserves to go into our Animal House, please send it along. We enjoy trying to figure out the "creative".

Read Wolfgang's latest marketing blog.

Wolfgang Franke is President & Creative Director of Words at Work Advertising & Marketing, a full service communications company established in 1988. Our growing list of valued clients are found throughout our local market, Markham and the Greater Toronto area, across Canada in cities such as London, Ontario, and Edmonton, Alberta, and an expanding list of international locations ranging from The Big Apple in New York to Kanturk, Ireland.

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