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Agrimarketing : May 2008
56 AgriMarketing ¦ May 2008 FOCUS ON: MARKET RESEARCH /continued from page 55 readers into a mental state that connects them with you. They need to visualize how they could use your product or service and identify with your offering. At the same time avoid what is called “borrowed interest.” This is the overused visual (or copy) tactic which creates one image, then asks the reader to imagine another. A good example of borrowed interest would be an ad that features an illustration of a runner crossing a finish line with the headline, “Brand X always comes in first.” In this case the runner is illustrating the concept of being first. Well, what if your readers are busy peo- ple looking for illustrations that show a product being used or how a service is delivered? They will run right by your ad. • Appeal to the readers’ needs and self-interests. Get to your main idea quickly, cleanly, clearly, and make sure readers know what’s in it for them! We all read advertising, and we all quickly judge how much time we should allocate to an ad. A message that lets the reader know immediately what the bene- fit is and why the product/service might be right is one that will work. Remember, publications simply bring readers to the pages. It’s your job to figure out how to stop readers and connect them with your message. • Sell the merits of your product or service. Readers constantly search for things that are of interest, even if they are not ready to buy now. They gather information and ideas throughout time. Make sure your ad communicates why they should consider your product or service • Emphasize benefits, not facts. Facts are static pieces of informa- tion that only describe what a product or service is. Benefits, on the other hand, are dynamic inter- pretations and descriptions of what the facts will do. For exam- ple, your ad might declare, “Our new machine accomplishes this task in half the time.” While this may be a powerful statement, con- sider: “This new equipment will reduce your production time by 45% because of its increased pro- cessing speed, saving time and money.” See the difference? • Design your ad for easy reading. You might have the latest and greatest product, but if you create an ad that is hard to read and inter- pret it won’t make any difference. Avoid dark backgrounds, reverse type, or copy in tint blocks. Don’t use small font sizes, especially any- thing smaller than the basic size used for editorial. The classical for- mat of headline-illustration-text still works. Being artistic is fine, but don’t get carried away creating an ad that is artistically beautiful yet difficult to read. • Use Humor Carefully. Entertain- ing your readers is not the primary objective of your ad and may not successfully make your point. Using humor can backfire, result- ing in a negative perception of your company. Remember, what’s humorous to you might be offen- sive and a turn-off to someone else. The landscape is littered with “comical” ads that failed. A few other notes: Like humor, testimonials or celebrity endorsements can be risky business. First, your spokesperson may not be widely recognized nor be considered an authoritative figure. If this is the case, your message will fall on deaf ears. Plus, there is the chance that some of your target audience may not like the spokesperson, inhibiting the communication process. If you do choose to use a spokesperson or endorser, a little research in advance about the per- ception that person creates in the marketplace may be in order. Also, don’t be bashful about using a successful ad over and over (see Table 1). Yes, you will have to define what “success means,” but consider the following: We get tired of our ads before readers do. History shows that the tactic of repeating an ad can continue to generate reader- ship and interest over an extended period of time. In closing, keep these ideas in mind the next time you design a new ad. Perhaps they will provide you and your team a new perspective as you engage in the design process. AM Chapters include: • Is Organic Food Safer? Think Again • Hormone Hype and Antiobiotic Argst • A Few Bushels Shy • The Benefits of Biotechnology • Many More! NOW AVAILABLE! by the Hudson Institute’s Alex Avery “The Truth About Organic Foods” To order, go to www.AgriMarketing.com for bulk orders, e-mail: JudyK@AgriMarketing.com
May 2008 Supplement
Canadian Agribusiness Employer Guide 08