The Devil’s in the Detail
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The Devil’s in the Detail

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 The Devil’s in the Detail The Devil’s in the Detail Presentation Transcript

  • The Devil’s in the Detail Looking for an advantage in your Creative October 14, 2013 Herschell Gordon Lewis Carol Worthington-Levy
  • 2
  • Are you firing blanks? Words Are our Weapons.
  • Avoid these words in force- communication messages: • quality • service • value • needs (as noun) • “Remember,” • What’s more • Your partner in… • When it comes to… 4
  • Please, please: Never again write “blah” phrases such as… • Act now. • See your Toyota dealer today. • Southwest Airlines means business. 5
  • What is the difference between 3 and three ? 6
  • Word use: Replace… with… must have to among one of utilize use perhaps maybe buy acquire purchase own spend allocate receive get 7
  • Can you see how the phrase “you are among” damages the image of exclusivity ? 8
  • What is a more emotional word or phrase than: • commence • utilize • omit • receive • we would like to • large • you incur no risk • circular • donate • purchase • fortunate • requested • I write concerning • we shall • error • perhaps • however • humorous 9
  • What is the difference between: • autumn and fall • at last and finally • sexy and sensual • nude and naked • made and manufactured • manufactured by and built by • right now and at once • reply and respond • insincere and not sincere • eager and anxious • audience and viewers • died and passed away 10
  • Consider replacing •chance •availability •plan (as a noun) •prospect •possibility •likelihood with opportunity WHY? 11
  • Consider replacing Application Form with Acceptance Form WHY? 12
  • Suppose you prefer Acceptance Certificate instead of Acceptance Form… WHAT SHOULD YOU CONSIDER BEFORE MAKING A CHANGE? 13
  • Unsolicited email: Note the mismatch between DEALS and APPLY NOW. Click: 14
  • What is that word “Application” doing there? You contacted me. 15
  • A classic example of what not to do. Goodbye. 16
  • A simple and easy-to-implement rule for unsolicited email: Grab and shake the reader, fast and dynamically. 17
  • Does this email grab and shake the reader, fast and dynamically? 18
  • You don’t have to be a bourbon drinker to see problems with this copy. Suggestions? 19
  • Too little copy… and too much copy. Do you see examples of each? 20
  • If this marketer had asked you to create a competing email, what would you have suggested ? 21
  • What would you have said instead of “Learn More” as a click- through? 22
  • What would you have said instead of “Learn More” as a click- through? 23
  • Why should you avoid the word LEARN? Because it suggests your background or education is defective. Suggested replacement for marketing: Get inside information about… or See first-hand… or [YOUR SUGGESTION]?
  • Editorial decision: Illegal immigrant or undocumented alien ? 25
  • Your best prospects are the individuals or businesses most targeted with messages from your competitors. With that in mind… 26
  • Decide how much strength you want to project: Pass this up and you cost yourself some money. might may can
  • Decide when you can generate better impact by changing voice: Pass this up and I cost myself some money. might may can will
  • Consider the pros and cons of an absolute statement: Pass this up and I’ll cost myself some money 29
  • Add “If”… Have you made this stronger or weaker? If I pass this up, will I cost myself some money?
  • The difference one word can make: If I pass this up, will I cost myself some money? versus… If I pass this up, won’t I cost myself some money?
  • Two words that can make a conditional statement appear to be an absolute statement: What if…
  • Two response- suppressors here: Download, which many feel will affect their hard drive; and Take the Survey Now, which suggests using much time. 33
  • A single word can have the power to impel ongoing readership in any medium: Sunk Ouch Nuts Hmmm 34
  • Opinion, please: When is an exclamation point better and when worse than a period? Ouch. Ouch! Sunk. Sunk! 35
  • Which of these, as envelope copy or subject line, is more likely to generate ongoing readership? Important or Important! or Important? You decide.36
  • If you want an impulse- greed response, less copy can be more. 37
  • Can you think of a more salesworthy word than “Learn”? 38
  • Your opinion: Would Private offer: have had more verisimilitude than A special offer just for you.? 39
  • Your opinion of the exclamation point as opposed to a rubber stamp with no punctuation 40
  • Best Buy email – Can you think of a better subject line than “Guaranteed to get it”? 41
  • Headline is poor, could use the stronger selling copy in the text. 42
  • Misleading? Won’t some recipients interpret this subject line to mean an MRI or CT scan is free? (And there is that nasty word learn. 43
  • In the “contraindications” disclaimer for a pharmaceutical product, which word did the marketer wisely use instead of “may be dangerous”? “may be unsafe”
  • Tip, based on multiple test results: Others pay more brings more response than You pay less. 45
  • Tip, based on multiple test results: “You can apply for… is a deadly response killer. 46
  • Tip, based on multiple test results: Buy one, get one free brings more response than 50% off or Two for the price of one. 47
  • For direct mail – The Cardinal Rule of Envelope Copy: The carrier envelope has a singular purpose (other than keeping the contents from falling out onto the street): TO GET ITSELF OPENED. 48
  • Potent envelope copy. (Your opinion of the rubber stamp? 49
  • ONE MORE HOPE: We are communicators, supposedly literate. Do we know the difference between lie (intransitive) and lay (transitive) ? 50
  • 51
  • ????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????? ????????????????? Questions ????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????? ????????????????? 52
  • Design Details that bedevil response… 53
  • Sometimes designers forget, or don’t understand… • With mail or email, we’re invited guests into people’s homes… • …Or if we’re presenting a website, we’re promising them a good experience • If your mail’s not working, it probably is too hard to read, uninteresting or off-concept 54
  • The death of Common Sense Design • Why do we mail/email efforts that are impossible to read? • Why, if we’re directing designers, do we not question the fact that it’s illegible? • Why do we choose images that are so wrong or out of context, they don’t ‘get it’? • The customer is not stupid – we are to blame if they can’t understand our efforts to them! 55
  • The 4 Cs: design details that improve response • High Contrast + • Smart Color + • Thoughtful Concept = Comprehension • If you’re missing the details in any of these, you’re losing leads and sales — big time 56
  • Color and Contrast: a detail that makes a huge difference • You can capture response – or chase it away, by how you use color and contrast • This is true in print, online, in ads, emails… everything • This is all based on human physiology: how the rods and cones of the eyes function • Affects how messages are read and comprehended 57
  • Contrast • The human eye is 1500x more sensitive to value than it is to color • When you have something that is colorful, versus something that has higher contrast, people will look at the high contrast one first • It’s human physiology, the rods and cones of the eye at work, sending signals to the brain. 58
  • Low contrast = bad comprehension • Black reads well on the yellow • White type on lime green has low contrast • The hairline thin type for the headline makes it worse • The message in green is literally ignored by prospects 59
  • Contrast is a science, not just a creative choice • Color value: how dark or light something is • This black and white guide is just one tool designers (should) use to ensure the typography in their efforts is legible. • Setting type on a background that has less than 8 value steps between them will make the type less easy to read • Every color has value and even at level 10 is too light • Customers ignore messaging that is not easy to read 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 60
  • Contrast examples • The ‘arty’ choice is to set type in subtle color contrast • …but nobody reads it! • The practical and responsive way to set type and use images is high contrast • Even if it’s just a ‘brand’ piece, it’s a complete waste of effort if it’s too hard to read, or confusing to look at 61
  • Contrast in action • Here it is with typography in black and white… • Which one is the hardest to read? • Which is easiest to read? 62
  • Contrast in action • Here how contrast affects photography • Which one shows off this product the best? • The lower-contrast you make an image, the less likely someone will be engaged by it. 63
  • Contrast examples • The ‘arty’ choice can’t compete for your customer’s time or attention • White type against gray makes customers ignore a good deal 64
  • Color and response • Another guide your designer (should) have: the color wheel • Think about value for these colors • Yellow, at full strength, has a value of 2; purple (violet) has a value of 9. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  • Color and Contrast • Here it is with typography in color… • Which one is the hardest to read? • Easiest to read? 66
  • Contrast and color • Actual sample: Yellow type on white – or white type on yellow – is ignored by customers • I glanced at this an ignored it. Too bad for me, and for them! • Although sometimes they get mad that it’s so hard to read. • Do you really want to piss your customers off? 67
  • Does your design include white type? • Reversing type out of a color, black, or a photo will reduce readership by up to 90% (readership = response) • Proven in extensive studies • This is common sense: if there’s a picture, we work to try to make out what it is. We don’t read the type that’s interfering with it 68
  • Reversed type: who would want to read this, even if they requested it? • When this catalog, for The Highlander TV show and films, was launched, all body copy and headlines were white on dark backgrounds 69
  • Design for easy reading and reap the rewards of an awesome campaign • When catalog was redone with black type on light back- grounds, sales jumped 300%+ among prospects AND existing customers 70
  • Color in action • Note how complementary colors ‘jiggle’ or ‘shimmer’ against each other Customers avoid reading type like that • Notice how type in the same ‘color family’ (red on pink) is too hard to read • Can anyone read this? NOTE: this is a VERY common mistake! Complementary colors on color wheel – same value makes this too hard to read 71
  • Typesetting in colors • Typography in black provides the best comprehension • Typography in colors reduces contrast — does poorly when tested for comprehension and response • Even if strong value, the eye tires of reading color type faster than black Compare: • Do you feel anxious in a yellow room? Does the color blue make you feel calm and relaxed? Artists and interior designers have long understood how color can dramatically affect moods, feelings and emotions. • • Do you feel anxious in a yellow room? Does the color blue make you feel calm and relaxed? Artists and interior designers have long understood how color can dramatically affect moods, feelings and emotions. • • Do you feel anxious in a yellow room? Does the color blue make you feel calm and relaxed? Artists and interior designers have long understood how color can dramatically affect moods, feelings and emotions. 72
  • Fonts: another detail that affects response • The fonts you choose will draw in your customer… or send them packing! • Serif fonts are documented to provide highest readership, documented in legibility and comprehension studies • Sans serif fonts in typography will reduce readership and response by up to 60% - and more if it’s a condensed sans serif font • ALL CAPS TYPE REDUCES COMPREHENSION BECAUSE NOBODY WANTS TO READ IT. See why? 73
  • The font treatments can ALSO send them packing! • Initial Caps Distract The Reader and Reduce Comprehension • Set type flush left, rag right. Ideally, with indent at start of each paragraph to give the eye another way to scan • Justified type reduces comprehension, legibility and response • Hyphenated words reduce comprehension, too. • Research supports ALL of this: see Colin Whieldon’s book. Type & Layout (link at the end of this presentation) and many other studies • Also proven in exhaustive studies by Dr. Siegfried Vogele of the Direct Marketing Institute in Germany 74
  • Layout: reader gravity is real • Headline must be bigger and bolder than the body copy so the reader’s eyes gravitate to it • The eye finds the picture first — then reads the copy • Set copy to the RIGHT or BELOW the image, to allow for their natural progression • NOTE: setting in 3 columns increases readership and response because it’s EASY to read; type wider than 70 characters is ignored! David Ogilvy was right!75
  • Concept: the Devil’s here too! • When developing concepts for brand, advertising, mail and more… – Don’t forget that your CUSTOMER needs to be impressed by this – not your agency compatriots – Your efforts are wasted if it’s an inside joke, an ego project, or a chest-beating exercise (“People look to us because we’re great”; “It’s our anniversary”; “Our award winning blah blah is what you need, etc.”) – In fact, the more impressed your buddies are by your concept, the less it will probably work 76
  • Overworked concept/design • If it looks weird and gross, your customer will be turned off 77
  • Same product; Common sense concept/design • Answers customer concerns • Too bad it’s so hard to read! 78
  • Under-thought concept provides ham-handed ‘historical perspective’ • Xtime creates automated systems for customer service, used by Auto Dealerships. • They believe that body copy on an ad is too much – and ‘they just KNOW” that nobody reads it • Does this ad tell the reader anything meaningful? • Does the picture really tell the story? (How often this week have you seen this image?!) 79
  • Concept that answers the most- important question: ‘What problem will Xtime take care of for me?’ • Do your homework: This idea came from walking around auto dealerships • Myth vs reality — best creative is not produced if there’s no time to do it right • This brought in scores of highly qualified leads 80
  • Humor can work if it emphasizes a point clearly • Read your prospect’s mind… and answer their concerns • Media buyers laugh when they see this — but it tells them this is irresistible media, and they remember it and check it out! • Adweek award winner for highest retention 81
  • There’s lots of thoughtless design out there. Don’t let this happen to you. • Orange headline • Light gray body type • Light, sans serif fonts • Orange and gray logo • The ‘great deal’ is reversed out of orange banners • Concept??? Please • The cost of this creative and media buy was probably $60,000 — wasted 82
  • P.S.: Your designer’s not reading the copy! • Oops! a line of type covered up by the block of green • Final Advice: hire a proofreader! 83
  • Learn more: • http://www.amazon.com/Type-Layout- Communicating-Making- Pretty/dp/1875750223/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&i e=UTF8&qid=1343175004&sr=1- 1&keywords=are+you+communicating+or+jus t+making+pretty+shapes • http://www.amazon.com/Handbook-Of- Direct-Mail- Communication/dp/0132087456/ref=wl_mb_ hu_c_1_dp 84
  • We’ll devil you into creating more effective work! Herschell Gordon Lewis HGLewis1@aol.com Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com