Monday, October 12, 2009

The Element of Surprise in Advertising


Many years ago I read a book called A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can be More Creative by Roger von Oech. It's a great book. But the parallel here is that some ideas are so simple they are striking.

This Nissan light truck ad makes a simple point - carry a lot in a small space. They could have tried to hard sell with data about the size and load carrying capacity, but that isn't really how advertising works for cars and trucks. It's hard to avoid the fact that a sales person will most likely be involved in the purchase process,…most people don't buy trucks online…so the task of the ad is to engage the reader's attention and provoke interest. After that other elements of the communication chain can do its job.

It pays to remember that boring people into submission has never been a successful communications strategy. In a cluttered communication environment there has to be an element of surprise. The unexpected commands more attention than the banal or familiar.

1 comment:

  1. Hi David,

    Couldn't agree more about the element of surprise. The unexpected is always engaging. And works wonders for direct mail response rates too.

    The one problem I have with this particular ad however, is that the message, the brand, and the point are buried. Was it press or outdoor, I wonder? If outdoor, I'd wager that the vast majority of people who saw it, haven't a clue what it's for or about.

    Jules

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