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The CopyWriters Connection
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The visual or the copy?Views: 308
Feb 27, 2006 7:32 amThe visual or the copy?#

Sreejith Nair
Can anybody tell me, that nowadays, do people have the patience to read copy, dont you think it the era of visual based advertising?, is'nt the power of a visual ten times the copy?

Private Reply to Sreejith Nair

Feb 27, 2006 7:16 pmre: The visual or the copy?#

Steven Boaze
Hello Sreejith Nair,

You raise a great question that is most commonly
overlooked in today's world of advertising.

Human behavior, is always the result of one or
more of five basic needs or motivating forces.
This theory is that until a lower-ranking need is
satisfied there is no desire to pursue a higher
ranking need. Below are the five human
motivators, beginning with the basic or lowest
ranked need and continuing to the highest.

Physiological needs - Include hunger, thirst,
reproduction, shelter, clothing, air and rest.

Safety-security - The need for security,
stability, dependence, protection, structure,
order, law, tenure, pension and insurance.

Love-belonging - The need for belonging,
acceptance, love, affection, family and group
acceptance and friendship.

Self-esteem - The need for recognition,
respect, achievement, responsibility, prestige,
independence, attention, importance and
appreciation.

Self-actualization - The need for
satisfaction, the desire to achieve fulfillment
through reaching self-set individual goals or
aspirations.

The advertising practitioner will do well to
become familiar with this theory of human
motivation because it stresses once again that
motivation is always an individual act. The most
your advertising message can hope to do is to
present an appeal strong enough to stimulate
action toward satisfying one of the basic human
needs.

If there is one rule that will be most helpful in
preparing effective advertising, it is this: The
message must put the desire of the potential
customer before the advertiser's desire. Please
read that one more time! The rule may sound like
a simple one to follow, but frequently
advertising messages take the form of a plea to
customers to respond and solve the advertiser's
problem.

Visualize the felt tip pen you probably use every
day. When it was manufactured the raw materials
were converted into these product features: a
plastic barrel, a plastic cap, a supply of ink, a
felt tip and a metal pocket clip. These are the
total product points in the felt tip pen. What's
amazing is that none of those things have
anything to do with why you will buy the pen! You
buy any item only for how it will benefit you.
The key, of course, is benefit. Effective
advertising must promise the consumer some
benefit he or she will receive after buying the
goods or services advertised. Product features
should be cited only to make the promised
benefits believable. Here is an example of how
you can advertise the felt tip pen by promising
benefits and then using the product features to
make promised benefits believable.

You can drop this pen on concrete from 20 feet
in the air and it will not break because it is
made of a strong plastic.

You can draw a jet black line for more than
100,000 yards, thanks to the large supply of
quality ink.

This pen will not leave an ink stain on your
shirt or in your purse, thanks to the
snug-fitting plastic cap.

When you bend over this pen will not fall from
your pocket because it features a strong spring
steel clip.

Although this technique appears logical, many
advertisements ramble on and on with all the
product features while the potential customer
asks, "What will it do for me?"

Using the benefit approach can be simplified by
preparing a worksheet on which each product you
plan to advertise is dissected into (1) the
benefits the buyer will enjoy by owning this
product and (2) which product features will help
convince the potential buyer that the promised
benefits are likely to be true. Using the benefit
approach is the best advertising technique for
each advertising medium. It is also the selling
technique used by all top salespeople. Practice
it, it works!

Techniques in Presenting the Advertising Message

The buying decision is seldom a purely rational
one emotions influence your behavior. As you
explore various techniques for presenting your
advertising message, do not ignore psychological
and emotional appeals. For example, red, a strong
color suggesting excitement, increases reader
interest when used in sales ads. While the
principles discussed here relate most
specifically to print ads, they can apply to all
media.

Determining Layout Shape and Design

Behavioral scientists have determined that of all
the rectangular shapes, the vertical rectangle of
approximately three units wide by five units deep
is the one the public is exposed to most and,
therefore, the one people find most comfortable.
The advertising world refers to this shape as the
golden rectangle of layout. It is believed that
an advertising message receives higher readership
when presented in this size.

For Example; The layout of a boxed in ad, the
vertical center line, is called the focal point.
It is the point to which the eye is attracted
first, at which the eye enters the ad. Now, draw
a line extending from the upper left-hand corner
of the ad to the lower right-hand corner. This
reverse's is the path that the eye follows,
called the gaze motion path.

Your objective should be to reinforce the ease
with which the eye can follow this path. How you
place elements of your ad can invite the reader's
eye to follow this path or to leave your ad
completely before getting your message. If your
artwork, for example, is located near the curves
in the gaze-motion pattern, it will invite your
reader to leave the ad at that point and turn the
page. The gaze motion also reinforces the
principle that the best place for a headline is
at the top of the ad where the reader starts the
visual journey through the ad. The worst place
for your logo is the lower left-hand corner; the
eye prefers to leave the ad at the lower
right-hand corner, so your logo will have greater
impact there.

If you were to draw dotted lines and divide the
ad into vertical and horizontal halves to stress
balance in your layout, then formal or
symmetrical balance occurs when the elements on
the left side of the vertical center line are in
the same position and of the same size or density
as corresponding elements on the right side. This
formal balance is not as interesting to the eye
as informal or asymmetrical balance, obtained by
balancing weights on one side of the center line
with weights of varying densities at greater or
lesser distances from the center line on the
other side of the ad.

Visualize ad balance as being similar to a
see-saw where weight near the outer end of the
board can be balanced by heavier weights nearer
the fulcrum on the other end of the board. In
designing your ad layout, place illustrations,
copy blocks, headlines and other elements so they
appear balanced without formality.

Steven Boaze

Private Reply to Steven Boaze

Feb 27, 2006 8:06 pmre: re: The visual or the copy?#

Wot's... Uh The Deal (Vijai)
What an amazing post Steve. It would make great training material.

At an interview a couple of years ago, I was asked why a certain direct mailer of mine had so much copy. To which I replied, that the service offering was of a high value and would have required substantial reasons for a customer to subscribe to it. The guy interviewing me said that he felt the copy was too much and no one would read it. And he added that such lengthy copy should never be used, anywhere. Although I passed up on that offer because the remuneration was not to my liking, I had already made up my mind against considering the position!

Just to add to what you have mentioned, I'd like to say that if you cannot do away with long copy, at least break it up into parts. And no better example than your own post. Although it is long (high word count), it is easy to read as it is broken into paragraphs. So even if one were to skim through, the first few words of each paragraph have enough potential to either supply a gist or intrigue the reader into reading the entire text again.

If you can get the reader to read your copy twice, I would consider it a roaring success.

Once again, great post Steve.

Private Reply to Wot's... Uh The Deal (Vijai)

Feb 28, 2006 6:37 pmre: The visual or the copy?#

Steven Boaze
Vijai,

Thanks, and believe me, it took quite a while to
figure out what was causing failure with ads that
didn't pull like other image ads that did.

I do use this a training material, it's like I
wanted to covey the solution instead of a regular
comment.

Thanks again,
Steven

Private Reply to Steven Boaze

Mar 01, 2006 6:30 amre: re: The visual or the copy?#

Sreejith Nair
Wow, that was enlightening!

Private Reply to Sreejith Nair

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