Sunday, 16 May 2010

Why visual doesn't always mean good

At first glance these ads by Young & Rubicam (New York) look quite good. After all, they're visual, simple and pretty eye-catching. But after a little thought, I realized they're pretty bad.

1. They tell you nothing about the product and do nothing to suggest why Protex is better than any other hand wash out there.
2. The copy tells you something you pretty much already know, 'The things you touch stay with you'. Sounds like the fear-mongering strap-line of a crap horror movie.
3. It's not very clear what's under/on the fingers, unless you look pretty closely. And no one spends too much time looking closely at ads (apart from people in advertising).
4. There's no element of mystery to the visual - there's no knowledge gap - if I look at the visual I pretty much know it's an ad for a hand wash, so I've got no reason to look what brand of hand wash it is or even read the copy. And because nothing happens in my mind - no moment of realization, or inner smile, no 'getting it' - it means that it doesn't stay in my mind. (If something occurs in the mind, it tends to stay there; you've got a reason to remember it, it's not just a passive act).

Here's a good example of a 'knowledge gap' in action:

Well that's my rant over. Maybe these ads aren't terrible, but they're not great either.
That said, the typeface is quite nice!

I'm planning on going to see some student work at Lincoln Uni in the coming few weeks. The kind Miss Ruby Rosamund (fellow member of the advertising blogosphere) has invited me to the Creative Advertising final year show. Should be a good chance to see some fresh ideas (and weigh up the competition of course).

1 comment:

  1. WOW That Saturn ad is lovely! Got a little shiver at the end!