Words is a growing collection of contributed articles,
by an impressive assortment of experts, gurus and
ad biggies, that are germane to our subject.
|SHOULD WE CALL YOU NOW?
Dennis Altman is an advertising consultant
and a Professor of Advertising and Public
Relations at University of Kentucky.
you have an article that
belongs in Wise Words, contact
Timothy R V Foster in London
on 44 (0)208 763 2225
or fax him on 44 (0) 208 763 2011
AdSlogans.com -- Wise Words/16
University of Kentucky School of
Journalism & Telecommunications
Creating an Impact
Ten tips for developing an ad that
packs a punch
© 2001 Dennis Altman
push comes to punch, every brand wants to be remembered
for a certain something.
Thats why so many campaigns boil down to a single
theme line. But there are no standards for judging them.
As long as theres been free speech, people have been
looking for a reliable way to evaluate tag lines.
no more. With this column, we establish reliable criteria
for separating word wheat from waste. If you cut this out
and put it up on the wall next to your panoramic window,
youll have a working check-list that will establish
the campaign value of your next creative presentation.
|First, a definition: Whether its used
as a theme line, headline or tag line, the "theme thought"
eventually becomes the workhorse of any campaign.
To see if your horse is pulling its weight, you can test your
line against the following criteria.
Score one point for each. If you total seven or better, you
can head for the meeting in confidence. Youre on target.
1. Does the line truly fit the brand? Does it reflect the
brands claim to fame? Example: Apples "Think
Different." The line not only establishes that Macs are
the computers of choice for the creative arts, but it has
the added allure of a possible grammatical error. On further
reflection, this element becomes a reassuring testimonial
to the brands identity.
2. Does it describe a tangible brand superiority? Example:
"Its not TV. Its HBO." Again, we see
an element that makes us think twice and appreciate the wisdom
of the concept.
3. Does it solve a real consumer problem? Example: "Met
Pays." This is so basic to the requirements of a tag
line that its often overlooked.
4. Does it include the name of the brand? Not an essential,
but if your line has it, point it out.
5. Does it have "legs"? Pay attention to this one.
Can your line survive changes in the competitive picture and
new trends in the field? Example: Fords "Better
ideas, driven by you." This line puts the plus on a former
Ford success, "Ford has a better idea," and extends
6. Is it reeeallly big? Does the thought inspire grand thoughts
about the brand? Example: Microsofts "Where do
you want to go today?" What a concept!
7. Does it work well with a key visual? Example: Wrigley Spearmints
"No smoking" campaign.
8. Is it unexpected? Example: Staples "Yeah, weve
got that." Anytime you can incorporate a new way to use
language, youre sure to hold their interest.
9. Does it pass the "take-away" test? Can it be
easily described and understood by the people at the water
cooler? And perhaps even more to the point, will it hold up
on the phone, when your client leaves the meeting and reports
in to the boss?
10. Is it hot? Does it touch the buttons that people really
care about? Example: Volvos "Drive safely."
After all, if people dont share your enthusiasm, whats
And those are just the positives. Its also possible
to lose some points. If we were really doing this right, advertisers
would be penalized for inane tag lines that destroy credibility
or just waste time.
Nobody asked me, but I think the people who launched lines
like Toyotas "Everyday People," United Air
Lines "Rising," and the in-one-eye and out-the-other
of Winn-Dixies "Americas Supermarket"
should seriously consider awarding rebates to their clients.
AdSlogans.com -- Wise Words/16