How do you break through the clutter? Literally. That's our problem as we commence a new campaign for the mining business. Here'a a peek behind the creative process.
At first we thought some great photography of their employees would stop everyone on the page. Photos of people are always effective in that respect. Even if the person's face is no larger than a postage stamp, eye-tracking software proves it makes viewers stop and look. But we're not the only creatives to note that -- it's why there are (reliably) a dozen or so such ads in every industry pub. Besides, trying to get the client to use employees is difficult. Conventional wisdom holds you don't want to promote employees for fear that they will want more money. Or worse, letting them get the idea they're indispensible. Testimonials from customers are better but don't hold your breath if your under deadline. Photo courtesy Art Dickinson Photography.
What are some other, stop-you-dead-in-your-tracks visual attention getters? Babies, dogs and scantily clad women tend to work for the roughneck set, but we don't care to go there. Recently we got involved in using Inventor and Light Wave to produce some 3D technical drawings of equipment. It inspired us to think about using the technology to use a cutaway of the machine and show how it operates. Then the question is: Does an overall picture of the machine tell the viewer instantly what the machine is good for? It's sort of like looking at a sports car versus a dumptruck. If you're selling either and the viewer is looking for that product, they will look at your ad. That's why a product line ad illustrating your product range, is normally a safe idea. Not particulary attention-getting, and actually very boring.
Thanks to Creative Commons for the photo.
So what about an extreme closeup? Showing the technical details of how the machine works? If so, how would you make that interesting? There's a new smartphone app, Ateva, that allows you to look at a two-dimensional page and up pops a 3D object. The app is programed to identify the photo and then serve the 3D image through your tablet or smartphone. The viewer can move the phone around the page and see the different angles of the 3D illustration. We think that this just might be the ticket to getting attention. Thanks to Powder Bulk Engineering magazine for the image on the left, which could be very entertaining to rotate and zoom in on. We particularly like including a person in the illustration. But a machine cut-a-way is not personal enough to persuade. To persuade you need to strike the problem nerve.
What problem are you solving? What problem does the viewer have? It may not be the operation of the machine. In one recent example, the problem the customer had was the machine's size. Would it fit into the allowable space? "Between a rock and a hard place," could be a good headline for this example. And an illustration could be memorable and hopefully sharable, by poking some fun at it. A rock 'n' roll guitar plus a steel plate? Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson paired with a diamond? On second thought, these ideas don't shock enough. The germ of a good idea is in here, contrasting items just have to tell the story of not fitting in. Or in this case, just fitting in. Thanks to Embracing My Journey for the photo.
In this example, the machine had a close fit in an underground mine. That's one of the reasons it couldn't be too tall -- it wouldn't fit in. How about a headless miner plus a punny header? "We're working hard to give you more headroom!" Or, "Let our Mega-Slam give you more headroom." The number one thing our client is known for is practical applications of these machines. This is a perfect example of that skill. If we can use the visual to tell these two stories, we'll have a home run. Practical knowledge, plus the right size for the huge capacity the customer wanted. "Fitting ten pounds in a five-pound bag,"
If you liked this post you may also like, "How to Create Emotional Marketing Communications."
Chuck Lohre's AdVenture Presentation of examples and descriptions from Ed Lawler's book of the same title - 10 Rules On Creating Business-To-Business Ads