Sunday, 6 December 2009

Ad Strategies: X looks like Y

Looking through the annals of ad history I've found countless visual ads that make me feel a little bit excited inside. A fair few that make me feel a little sick too - sick with envy.

I have, however, noticed a few trends, the first of which I'll talk about here; X looks like Y.

Here are some classic examples:

These are described by Pete Barry as 'visual puns'. Just like Meerkat sounding like Market, or Mental Floss sounding like Dental Floss (an old Mac ad) they simple tax in on the idea that one element of the product resembles one expression of the benefit. To come up with them, it seems you just have to spend hours looking at the product and it's use, waiting for that nugget - that ad gold. Of course, at the end of the day they're still puns and everyone knows that's a low form of wit. Still, visuals works quicker than copy and somehow (don't ask me about the science of it) seem to give more of a laugh.

The visual pun: but one weapon in the copywriter's arsenal.

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