Is this a trend?

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Here's another "copy-driven" ad. All type, no graphic other than the Boys & Girls Clubs of America logo. If you visit the organization's web site at www.bgca.org, you'll see a very attractive and highly visual home page. There's plenty of visual fodder on the site around which to build a space ad for this organization. Which leads me to ask are we seeing a trend of more copy-driven ads nowadays and why? To save on photo fees? It behooves a direct marketer to create ads that stand out from the clutter - and especially in newspapers where you have a sea of type with scads of articles on virtually every page, why would one shun a photograph or some other attention-getting graphic?

But the ad shown above, which appeared in the business section of USA Today yesterday, sure does start off great. What a fabulous headline:


Then come over 30 lines of Courier type, some of which I greatly admire.

This Boys & Girls Clubs of America ad does a few things right, as opposed to the copy-driven ad for Hyatt Place featured in a previous post.

At least the type in the Boys & Girls Clubs of America ad is easy-to-read black. And while Courier tends to be a highly legible font, it is a bit lightweight for the grainy newsprint paper. (You have to consider the paper an ad is printing on when designing it.) 

And while the copy in the Boys & Girls Clubs of America ad is well-written, I would have cut the opening and started the ad with the sentence in the 2nd paragraph:

"When a local youth agency fails, there are no severance packages. No bonuses. No second chances. Just scores of children with one less haven to turn to during non-school hours."

Adding a photo to this ad might have given the message a little more weight. But this is major - the call to action at the bottom should have DEFINITELY been set in BOLD type to help make it stand out and drive response.

What do you think? Could this ad use a visual? Is Courier the right font for this? What about a different kind of layout? Maybe an "open letter" look, where the ad would appear on letterhead, signed by the president of the organization? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

1 comment:

Ted Grigg said...

I've always liked these copy only print ads with great copy.

In the old days, we called them "editorial ads" because they look like an article written by a reporter and don't come across as advertising. And the style mimics the editorial style providing useful information.

The ad would have been more effective if it had been typeset by the newspaper.

And most such ads require the word "advertisement" printed out in heavy type at the top or bottom of the advertisement.

But as a public service advertisement, the paper apparently allowed this hybrid approach.

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