I’m hoping you can help me figure out an ad that’s been intriguing me for the past month or so. It runs in The Coast (Halifax’s alternative weekly newspaper) and has a visual of a plump, ripe banana, but the peel has been pulled back to reveal that the fruit inside is battered and bruised. Very interesting visual!
I guess the product might have something to do with food safety? Insecticides? Eating local? Possibly even skin care? I don’t know, because I’m also guessing the art director who did that ad is still in his/her 20s and has never read Ogilvy on Advertising.
You see, I can’t read this bloody ad. It’s four colour with a very dark background and the type, which is in a very small (yet elegant font, I’m sure) is set in reverse. Even with perfect registration (which almost never happens) it’s impossible for me to read. And yes, that’s with my reading glasses on.
Now I know you young’uns out there don’t like to hear about rules and to even bring up Ogilvy is to invite comparisons to Grandpa Simpson, but let’s just take a moment to review one simple thing he had to say about typography:
“…do you think an advertisement can sell if nobody can read it? You can’t save souls in an empty church.”
Sorry banana ad – I can’t read you, and I’m not willing to try. That great visual stopped me in a good way, but then your type stopped me in a bad way. And I bet I’m not the only one.
May I suggest you visit two websites before you design again?
The first has several copies of Ogilvy available at a really great price.
The second lets you play the “Which ad pulled best” game. Always an eye opener.
Let’s remember – we’re not in this business to create little works of art. We’re here to make the cash register ring.