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Learning From Others

Hello and Happy Friday.

I just received an email from the editors at VARBusiness magazine, asking me to participate in their Exclusive Ad Study on the effectiveness of specific advertisements. I did. The study was very interesting, helpful and worthwhile. Why? Because deciphering someone else’s ad’s effectiveness, will only help in OUR future ad development campaigns. You always learn from others – their mistakes and successes.

The study, which took about 10 minutes, showed a copy of the advertisement that had appeared in a particular issue of the magazine and asked a series of questions like do you remember the ad, after reading it what action did you take, and what was the ad trying to convey.

Only two ads really stood out

Most of my answers where “Yes, I remember the ad, but I didn’t undertand what they were trying to convey”. (Advertisements have really got to stand out for me to pursue any kind of contact with the company). Two that did stand out, in my opinion, where the Trend Micro ad and LG Electronics. Trend Micro showed me the product immediately and told me what the product meant to me. The ad was clear, simple, and to the point. LG Electronics showed me the benefit of their product immediately – no catchy headline that I couldn’t understand, just a simple and effective way to demonstrate the benefit of their product.

Apply the principles of good design

What I found most helpful was applying the principles of good design to the advertisements and seeing if they were really effective to me. In my last post I mentioned the principles of good web design. While participating in this study, I applied those principles to the selected ads. Some worked, some didn’t. It’s knowing which ones did work and applying those same results and principles to your own design. The experts say, and I agree, after you understand the principles, check publications and websites to see how they’re putting these principles into action.

Learn from others. While reading a newspaper, magazine, or a website, notice how the ad or article is laid out, how your eye scans the page or website, and if it abides by the principles of good design. Then clip the ad and add it to your library for future reference.

Have a great weekend.

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