19 May

Cutting through

Messages. They largely get ignored.
Take these for example.







They’re writ large all over cigarette packets, yet that doesn’t stop people – and, sadly, I include myself in that – from smoking.
In fact, I distinctly remember being in Singapore (quite a few years ago) and seeing the messages and different pictures swapped like playing cards.

And if we can ignore these kinds of messages, how easy is it to ignore others?

I got on the tube at the weekend for the first time in months, and there were ads everywhere… but most of them are just wallpaper: bland statements or literal copy and art direction.

So how do advertisers stand any chance of cutting through with their messages?

Puns sometimes work, but they’ve got to be done well.
These are good:

(This was the day after Obama got voted in/Bush got voted out)

Screenshot 2021-05-19 at 11.24.53

Screenshot 2021-05-19 at 11.26.06

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Screenshot 2021-05-19 at 11.26.45

Long copy can work, but it’s got to be warm and engaging, possibly funny – after all, who reads long copy any more?
How about these, from Lidl and Guinness…

Screenshot 2021-05-19 at 11.29.42


Screenshot 2021-05-19 at 11.31.43

Then there’s the art of the good headline – reeling the audience in:

Screenshot 2021-05-19 at 11.36.10


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Screenshot 2021-05-19 at 11.37.39

There are many ways to cut through, but, to be frank, it’s bloody hard.
It’s got to be clever, it’s got to be engaging, it’s got to be simple – people haven’t got the time to ‘get’ your message.

If we can ignore smoking messages, we can certainly ignore ads.

Don’t be wallpaper. Be different.

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