Your Advertising Does Not Have To Be Boring

Your Advertising Does Not Have To Be Boring

Your Advertising Does Not Have To Be Boring
Here is​ an​ advertising design idea that will challenge you to​ make imaginative ads rather than boring ones .​
I​ call it​ the​ Photo ID Design Model and​ it​ is​ a​ very useful device if​ you create advertising for​ your company or​ organization .​
It is​ one of​ the​ easiest and​ most effective ways to​ create a​ striking ad, banner or​ poster .​
And it​ will almost always give you a​ result that gets noticed.
** Consider the​ photo id
Think about a​ photo id for​ a​ minute .​
Its most dominant feature is​ the​ photograph .​
The other elements on the​ card support the​ photo -- the​ person's name, address, or​ ID number .​
These things are not necessarily less important than the​ photo .​
But the​ photo is​ clearly the​ main element .​
It is​ what the​ photo id is​ about, and​ that is​ clearly reflected in​ the​ graphic design of​ the​ card.
If you are not used to​ thinking of​ graphic design as​ related to​ function, this may seem like an​ overstatement -- Hey, it's just a​ card with a​ picture on it .​
But think about it​ for​ a​ minute .​
a​ photo id has the​ specific job of​ identifying a​ person .​
That makes the​ photo the​ most important element on the​ card .​
So it​ stands to​ reason that the​ photo should be given the​ most attention.
** Make the​ photo the​ dominant element
When you apply the​ photo id model to​ a​ print ad, poster, billboard, banner design, or​ even a​ TV ad the​ result is​ usually pretty straightforward .​
You assume the​ dominant element in​ the​ piece will be the​ image -- the​ photograph .​
And you also assume the​ photograph will be the​ main identifier — the​ thing that defines the​ look and​ even the​ content or​ theme of​ the​ piece .​
For instance, you find a​ photo of​ a​ cool looking guy wearing sun glasses .​
And that image fits the​ message you are trying to​ convey in​ your ad.
Serious advertising designers may object that this turns the​ usual communication process upside down .​
They might say, You should always start with your selling message, and​ find elements that illustrate that message .​
For instance, if​ you want to​ sell pet care products, you should begin with the​ theme you want to​ communicate, and​ then find elements that illustrate that theme .​
Say your theme is​ something like Our pet care products make happy pets .​
This theme would then suggest various ideas for​ photographs and​ headlines.
Of course this is​ nice in​ theory, but in​ actual fact, advertising is​ rarely that straightforward .​
In reality what usually happens is​ that you start out with a​ fairly specific idea (Our pet care products make happy pets.) as​ you try to​ develop it​ you realize it​ doesn't quite work or​ you can't find the​ photograph you had in​ mind .​
Then as​ you're leafing through the​ pile of​ available pet care photos you see one that evokes an​ interesting response .​
So you modify your original concept to​ fit the​ available photograph.
In other words, the​ photograph has become the​ organizing theme for​ the​ ad .​
If you still think this distorts or​ perverts the​ communication process, think about all those cleavage pictures on the​ front of​ women's magazines .​
The cover designer knows that cleavage sells magazines .​
So the​ photo is​ the​ starting point .​
The rest follows.
** Elements of​ the​ Photo ID Model
Of course there are no rules about what elements your banner or​ poster should include, but generally they should be as​ follows:
1 .​
Product photo or​ photo collage
2 .​
Main Headline
3 .​
Product Description or​ sales pitch
4 .​
Company Identifier (Logo, address, etc.)
Anything more than this will tend to​ make it​ overly busy .​
This is​ especially the​ case with posters, billboards and​ banners which are usually meant to​ be viewed from a​ distance .​
You should not try to​ convey detail .​
Just your primary selling message, and​ perhaps an​ overall image.
** Creativity is​ always important
An important way in​ which a​ photo id is​ different from an​ advertisement is​ that it​ lacks the​ creative mission we normally associate with ads .​
We don't expect ads to​ be just a​ picture of​ the​ product, or​ the​ store front, or​ of​ the​ company president .​
We expect them to​ be persuasive -- to​ sell the​ product or​ idea -- and​ we normally assume that takes some creativity.
In fact, one of​ the​ problems with the​ photo id model is​ that we may end using it​ as​ an​ uninspiring formula for​ cranking out ads .​
We may slip into the​ habit of​ relying on the​ format -- dominant photo, major headline, sales pitch, company identifier -- and​ just assume it​ is​ unnecessary to​ use our imagination .​
We may think it​ is​ not necessary to​ create an​ interesting headline, for​ example, or​ look for​ a​ striking and​ memorable photo.
In other words we often settle for​ the​ ordinary rather than coming up with something creative .​
We settle for​ a​ boring description of​ the​ product rather than an​ imaginative statement of​ what it​ can do for​ me, what problem it​ can solve, or​ how much money I​ am going to​ save if​ I​ buy it .​
As a​ general rule, in​ advertising creativity is​ almost always better than the​ lack of​ it .​
Of course, this is​ difficult to​ prove .​
And even worse, many people claim they have no creativity in​ them, so they think this excuses them from trying a​ little harder to​ come up with an​ interesting headline idea or​ slogan.
But even if​ you are creatively challenged you should still try just a​ little harder .​
Because in​ advertising it​ really comes down to​ this: Do you want your ad, your poster, your billboard, or​ your banner to​ be effective or​ not?

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