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Advertising Brad VanAuken

Evaluating Print Advertising Effectiveness

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When evaluating the potential effectiveness of different print campaign ideas, I use the following questions:

•    Does the headline immediately “grab” the reader? (In advertising guru David Ogilvy’s book Ogilvy on Advertising, Ogilvy states that five times as many people read headlines as read body copy.)  Ideally, the headline is nine words or less.
•    Does the headline promise an important benefit? (Ogilvy also states in Ogilvy on Advertising that ads with headlines that promise benefits are read by four times more people than those that don’t.)
•    Is the body copy long enough to provide the reader with useful information and ample proof points for your brand’s promise?  Long copy is more effective than short copy.  This is particularly true for business-to-business advertising.  (Alternatively, Roper Starch Worldwide, which maintains a database of more than 2,000,000 print ads, has found that excessive copy reduces the effectiveness of ads and recommends keeping ad copy to 50 words or less. With whole generations having now grown up on “sound bytes” of information, some cohort groups will respond better to shorter copy.)
•    Increasing white space around the ad or the headline increases the ad’s effectiveness.

Print Advertising offers several benefits: good reach and frequency, can handle complicated propositions, reaches consumers in a receptive context and can be very targeted.

In the days ahead I will share my thoughts on other advertising vehicles here on Branding Strategy Insider.

Sponsored By: Brand Aid

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3 Comments

Luis Jorge on October 11th, 2008 said

I like your blog but I cant agree with this kind of rubbish. Some of the most effective campaigns in history don’t use headlines, or text. Look at The Economist’s ads for christ sake.

Derrick Daye on October 13th, 2008 said

Luis,

That’s it? No wisdom for campaigns with headlines or text to share?

Step up.

Derrick

Kristina on October 17th, 2008 said

I find it odd that long copy works better than short copy. I would think since people’s attention spans are so short anymore that shorter copy would work better. When I see a long ad in a magazine (I hate those ads that look like magazine editorial copy) I don’t even want to take the time to read all that to find out what it’s about. I guess that’s why the headline is so important; if I were interested, I suppose I’d read the whole ad. It just looks so tiring to see so many paragraphs that I think long ads turn people (like me) off.

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