Any great work, regardless of medium, is almost certainly expressing a distinct point of view.
But if that point of view doesn’t contain a truth, then you can bet that the work’s impact will be fleeting.
It’s not just 26 letters in the English alphabet, a brand font has to have a personality; it has to be read by a five year old as much as by an 80 year old; it has to be used in print and screen – large and small – on devices that haven’t even been invented yet.
The fact that so many great TV ads can work in print is a sign of their brilliant simplicity. Whether the idea was intended for print or TV is not important: it’s as if they were created as one.
Research has shown that print adverts processed outside of conscious awareness shift attitudes just as much as those processed consciously.
On a daily basis, you frequently make an unconscious decision not to do something new…
…to put your shoes on in the same order…
…to buy the same newspaper every day…
…to watch an episode of a television series even though you’ve seen it several times before.
The ‘list of thee’ tool is used in copy to great effect. e.g. the good, the bad, and the ugly. Three things gives the list a certain rhythm – two is too quick, and four is too long.
Reductionism (fat-free advertising) is the practice of reducing the elements of an ad as far as possible, but to the point where the communication still works.
The conflict lies in your desire to tell consumer as much as possible about your product, without realizing that superfluous elements only serve to overwhelm the consumer and cloud the communication.
The maximum number of elements in a single print ad is six:
4.) body copy
Avoid ‘headline repeating visual’ (‘see-say’). This is one of the most common mistakes made by inexperienced advertising students, in which part of the headline (or the entire headline) is repeating what the visual is already communicating.
Print advertising is considered to be advertising’s hardest creative discipline, especially compared to broadcast (TV and radio). Think about it, a print ad has to communicate an idea in a few seconds rather than thirty, the images can’t ‘move’ or use sound like in TV, and it has to compete with the interesting newspaper and magazine articles right alongside it.
Headline only, visual only, or headline and visual. The other components might include the product shot/logo, sub-headline, body copy, and tagline.