This is the sign they have out at my local gym at Marion. How could anyone resist? A friendly, smiling face and the promise of a new you inside. They actually are being truthful — the front desk staff are always super friendly and super smiley and helpful, and you can find a new you inside. If you go regularly, and if you spend less time chatting on your phone and to your mate than you do working out, that is…lol
I read the other day that author Mem Fox rewrote the first paragraph of her Possum Magic book 23 times. I’m sure many people were surprised to read that. I was not. Because I know that good writing is all about crafting the copy.
At my first big ad agency, J Walter Thompson in Singapore, my boss wouldn’t let the client see anything I’d written until she was happy with it. And by that time, I’d done at least 7 edits. 15 years later, I’m a lot faster — usually only 1 or 2 edits for most jobs — but it’s still a very important part of the writing process, often taking almost as long as the first draft itself.
Many of the small business clients I’ve coached have been under the impression that the first thing you write is what you stick with. One life coach even thought that because she wasn’t happy with what she first wrote, that meant she couldn’t write! I explained that anything decent that she read ANYWHERE — an ad, a brochure, a website, a novel — had been edited. Crafted. Cut and polished. Once she knew that, plus a few more tips I gave her, she was very happy to go off and write her new brochure with confidence.
So much advertising these days treats you like an idiot, dumbing things down and spelling it all out for you, bit by bit. Which is why I always love it when I see an ad that leaves a bit for you to work out yourself. This ad for Chill is a great example.
In case you haven’t worked it out…here’s some thinking music for you…“La-la-la-la-la-la…ooh, ooh, ooh, honey!” Did you pick it? Yes! It’s a very subtle change to a line taken straight from the song “You’re the one that I want” from the movie Grease. Even if you don’t buy a Chill it makes you smile. And that’s gotta be a good thing.
Sirena Tuna has used some very clever headlines in their campaigns in the past, and this one is no exception. It’s so subtle and so close to the common saying, that it went straight over my head the first 3 or 4 times I saw it. Wonder if it’s just me, or if anyone else missed it as well?
Summer’s gone, I know, but I just had to put up this photo. This campaign incorporates a great action shot and a fabulous headline/tagline all in one. And it’s a statement that nobody can really argue with. Pity about the apostrophe but, oh well, you can’t have everything.
Amanda of Bay Junction Florist has taken full advantage of their location. This business is situated right on the corner at the busy intersection of Jetty Road and Gordon Street at Glenelg, and they’ve got lovely big picture windows. Anyone sitting in their car, stuck waiting at the traffic lights can gaze straight into the large windows full of their fabulous floral arrangements and look — there’s the website address right in front of you, nice and large, really easy to read and remember.
This example is also a great reminder that having a website floating in cyberspace is not enough. You really need offline advertising of some sort to get people to know about and visit your website. We may not all have a great corner location with big windows and lots of passing traffic, but we all have business cards and maybe brochures, leaflets or flyers, print ads, vehicle signage and the list goes on. Every business is different of course, but make sure you take full advantage of any and every type of advertising that would get your target market onto your site.
Seems like it’s absolutely mandatory these days to dig up an old hit and shove it into your TV commercial. I’m sure the ad makers think it’s kind of the easy way out, but it can backfire. People may remember and even like that particular song, but unless it has a strong tie to your product and a good reason for you to use it, it’s a total waste of time. It’s called ‘borrowed interest’.
So when a new ad I hadn’t seen came on screen the other day, with the song ‘More than a feeling’ by Boston (one of my alltime favourites!) I just groaned. Because surely it’s been done to death. But once it was revealed that the ad was for Blackmores, I forgave them. Because it has a link. And relevance. In fact, they get points for really good use of a great song.
I’ve always been a great believer in truth in advertising, much to the amusement of many people I speak to. Who just don’t agree. So, you can imagine my joy in seeing ABC’s new show last Thursday night, called The Checkout. The Chaser boys are back! Well, a couple of them, anyway. In case you didn’t catch it, the show is like a combo of Gruen’s Transfer meets Derryn Hinch. (For those of you who can remember him…)
This new show has a go at everyone — Apple, the TGA, Swisse, slimming products in general, United Airlines, insurance companies, Mazda, Nestle, Huggies and the list just goes on. It’s amazing how much dirt they can expose in under half an hour. If you want to see how we’re all conned, then I invite you to check out The Checkout. In case you missed the show last Thursday, log onto ABCiview.
You might even want to join them! They’re inviting disgruntled customers to make a video and upload it to their YouTube channel which they’ve cleverly called F.U. Tube. Here’s the link.