Saturday, April 19, 2008

Nice technique, not

We've all used this technique at one time or another.

Just perhaps not all in the same publication on the same day.

These three headlines - all taken from today's (Saturday) Guardian Weekend magazine - were probably written by three different writers who'd perhaps never even seen each other's work.

Maybe that's why it's so depressing all three used the same technique.

The technique's not a bad one but it's still a technique and so leaves the chance that somebody else will do the same thing on the next page and make you look stupid.

But what are the chances that three ads in the same publication all feature the same headline device (which, by the way, has fuck all to do with persauding the reader of anything)?

Check them out:

Great organic taste at a fair price. We milk cows, not people.

Our chefs spend their time cutting fresh vegetables, not cutting corners.

We reduced the size, not the cleaning performance.

Ironically, these writers probably cared about 'originality/style/literary flair', not results. And they ended up being totally similar to two other ads.

By the way, out of these three ads, at least the Dyson offers some copy to back up their literary masterpiece of a headline.

In the case of the Yeo Valley ad, they've said the price is fair. But don't they think readers might like to know how much the milk is? Or why it's so 'cheap'?

As for the Seeds of Change ad, it's not even explained what cutting corners might mean.

There are many words and phrases proven to increase response to ads. Sadly, 'not' isn't one of them.

PS. Somebody talking at Iris's Under the Influence on Thursday mentioned the idea that trying to persuading anyone to do anything these days was simply outrageous. But that's another post.

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