Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Tackiness is not a tactic

Everybody, at some point in their life, will need to advertise something. Whether you're trying to get rid of mom's antique toilet paper holder at a garage sale or starting your own toilet paper holder business, you'll need to advertise in some fashion.

So I want you to know this, lock it away in your mind for future use, one day it will be important: Starbursts of any kind are the single tackiest thing to happen to advertising - ever.

If you are a hometown auctioneer or a used car salesman go ahead and use starbursts, no one respects your advertising any way. If you're anyone else, I don't care if you sell hardware on ebay, don't use starbursts!

Any time that you consider advertising something I was you to complete this exercise.

1. Decide who your target market is.
2. Look at advertisements also aimed at your target market.
3. Notice the lack of starbursts in all well known brand name advertisements.
4. Steal everything you like.

Particular things to look for:
* Color schemes (are they bold? cheery? monochromatic?)
* Fonts (what is the serif to sans serif ratio in the ad? In what context are italics used? How are the fonts spaced?)
* Wording (concise? flowery? personal?)
* Illustrations (simple or elaborate? photographs or drawings? bold or subtle?)
* What stands out (did this ad catch your eye because of the vibrant colors or because of the funky artwork?)

Finally, help make the world a better place by mentioning the tackiness of starbursts to your friends, family, and coworkers.


Emily said...

Your thoughts make complete sense, but I've never actually thought of them. Interesting...

But you have to ease up on people who use starbursts. I mean, how else are potential customers going to take note of their ad unless a blob of ink says, "Look at me!" It adds instant emphasis, much like adding the word "hatas" at the end of a lyric in a hiphop/rap song.

Melody said...

Very much like it.

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