Time to subject you to my inner ad exec. Hooray! One of the favourite parts of my favourite advertising class was the bit where we'd bring in an ad every week and say what we liked or disliked about it. Feel free to play.
First The Bad with a capital B. I know this is a crappy picture, but hey, it's a crappy ad, so who cares?
Help me figure out what's going on here. The little "Kodak" in the corner tells us that we're supposed to be having feelings about either a camera or some film. Given that film cameras are nearly a thing of the past, I'm going to go with the camera option. Next, the text. OK, not bad - sorta catchy. We all have a Great Aunt Maud or a MIL who insists on giving us a size 38 XXXXXL, so OK. This one, apparently, is for men who don't understand sizing or don't care to ask, judging by Mr. Man there. I can still hang with that; whatever. Now check out the chick's face. What's the deal? I'd say it's safe to say that she's not a Happy Camper. Trepidatious, maybe? Pissed? Not happy, at any rate. Is her sweater supposed to be too big? (see strappy thing barely showing under her hair) Or is that just the style? Is he supposed to have put something way too small into that little box? I mean, the box is about the right size for a camera, but if this is a camera ad, she should be happy about receiving a camera, right? So I'm thinking it's not a camera. I don't get it.
This is a magazine ad. When you flip through a magazine, you're not sitting down to engross yourself in something deep. You're looking at something that's mostly fluff with short little articles that you can get through while the water is boiling for pasta, or you're standing by to wipe a kid's bottom after they poop -- a situation where you have a few moments to read, but not enough for anything real. In light of this, the ads should be something easily grasped in a few seconds (or less) and make a statement with strong visuals and very little text. In other words, it's not a game of "What's wrong with this picture?" No one's going to take that kind of time. Unless they're planning to ridicule your ad in a blog post.
This is a sucky ad.
Here's a much better one (though my photo of it is still crap) :
Look at that. It takes no time -- zero point five seconds maybe -- to figure out what we're supposed to know. Dry hands. REALLY dry hands. Therefore this must be a fix for that. You don't even have to read the text to figure it out. Now, if you suffer from dry hands, you will probably stop to read the text since you've already figured out that this is supposed to help you, so it's OK that there's a little more text than you can take in at a glance. The white bottle is a little unobtrusive, though, and the brand name didn't stick in my head. The brand should always stick in your head if it's a good ad, so this could be helped by perhaps adding the Dove name in the lower right hand corner - the place where your eye is going to stop as you glance over this page. Other than that, good ad.
And, finally, we come to the Not So Ugly Ad
It's certainly eye-catching, isn't it? And even though it's in French, you get the point. And the brand name - Le Coq Sportif - well, that will certainly stick, given the subject matter. For me, anyway. I might even frame this one and hang it up in my bedroom. OK, maybe not.
Tell me about your good, bad and (not so) uglies. Better yet, post about them. ^_^