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Evaluating Print Advertising Effectiveness


Evaluating Print Advertising Effectiveness

When evaluating the potential effectiveness of different print campaign ideas, I use the following as a guide:

1. 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.

2. 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.)

3. 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.)

4. 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.

You can find more advertising topics here on Branding Strategy Insider.

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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


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

Step up.


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