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  • Edwin David

Brevity in ads says more

The less cluttered your advertisement is, whether with words or visual, the more effective it can be. Some tips on how to make your ad campaigns build a strong and trustworthy brand.


One powerful visual wedded to two or three short lines, or even less, can say it all. For example, the Chupa Chups ad, with an army of ants giving the lollipop a pass, says it, without having to say too much. A sugar-free ad that is clutter-free, too.


With ever-increasing noise in advertising spaces, it is important to get your message heard and equally, to ensure that it sticks long enough to call for action. The next time you were considering stepping into a restaurant, you might recall McDonald's' brevity in this ad with French fries placed like a WIFI symbol. Creative!


McDonald's creative streak in its ads effortlessly spawn not just customer goodwill but employees trust, too. Sample this hiring advertisement, which, apart from stating the organisational culture, also warms the hearts of a prospective workforce who can expect an open environment at work.


Mc'Donald's choice of colours, both instore and in their promotional campaigns, is consistent and powerful. Red signifies attraction or stimulation (read, hunger) and yellow is for happiness and friendliness. Combined, the two colours convey speed, which translates into quick delivery - get in, eat, get out!


The hiring ad deserves a little more attention. Notice the supposedly negative connotation that draws your interest. Why won't they hire Turks or Indians? And when you read Chinese, Vietnamese and Peruvians alongside your nationality, your curiosity is aroused about the similarities between these groups.

The way the ad closes, cements its global brand identity. Not to forget the promise of a level playing field to expect if hired.


Advertising must have a single objective that goes beyond promoting the product and that is to cultivate a relationship between the clientele and the brand. The deeper the 'connect', the longer and more mutually beneficial the relationship. Emotions are at play, all the time. We relate with advertisements and brands that speak to our senses.


A notable creative is that of Weight Watchers. The visual says it all. It's a promise. An aspiration. An emotion. All woven into that one superlative ad!



Don't discount the power of words. Only words. They, too, say a lot without having to say too much. For instance, the linen maker Soft Weave's #WipeTheStereotype campaign.


Of course, there is a design element to it that enhances Soft Weaves' branding objectives.


So, let's end this piece with a pure text ad, published over a hundred years ago (1900) by Ernest Shackleton in a local newspaper:

Sheer honesty in this advertisement. Obviously, it asks only hardy folk to apply. It does not promise much, except reward and recognition upon return from the hazardous voyage - if one were to return. I'm sure those who signed up for the trip must have shared a loyal and respectful relationship with Shackleton just for being so brutally honest. Such men and their words can be trusted, which is the bottom line in all advertising - believability.

#businessdevelopment #businessmanagement #brandingbasics

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