Letting It Breathe (less is more in advertising)


This week I had a client come to me through Demographic Data Unlimited to start a marketing campaign.  They are a property management firm in California and they purchased a list of 900,000 people in the greater LA area.  Mind you they got an amazing price on this list so I was more then happy to let THEM supply us with the creative for the ad but once I saw it, I realized that we owed it to the client to counsel them a bit. 

It is important to note that the client doesn't have an in house creative department and this job fell on a 21 year old employee that had no experience with Photoshop.  So...not to condemn anyone or find fault I offer this blog post as an object lesson for anyone interested.

Here is the Before:

This is the ad the client provided.  It was designed for an email campaign yet it is a skyscraper shape, not good for most screen resolutions that are wide in 2009.

The clouds in the picture were meant to convey a "blue skys" feeling but they look ominous and foreboding, perhaps a storm is coming.

The over-use  of blue with white text makes a white wash of everything.  Nothing really stands out and says "READ ME"

The ad is crowded and has no space leaving the viewer feeling uneasy instead of inspired.

Although it is a property management company, I don't see the need to list a bunch of pictures of properties, it just doesn't convey the message effectively.

No need to include an email address (since it is an email campaign) or a web address (since the ad will hyperlink to the corporate site).

Overall, this ad doesn't breathe, it is too cluttered, there is too much non relevant information and it does not motivate the viewer to pic up the phone or click to the site to find out more.

Also, the brand needs help as well, but we were not hired to develop a new brand, we of course will make recommendations on the brand but THIS post is to demonstrate the need for white space.

 Here is the AD I created for this campaign:

LLC Ad Wide format to ensure no up or down scrolling.

I included the brand (logo) but did not make the ad about the brand, the ad is about increasing your income and efficiency which is accented with the Yellow type (which draws the eye to it)

The services are listed in a non obtrusive way

I did away with all the buildings and put stock photo models in with big happy smiles.  People like to buy from REAL people.  This photo says we are a team, we are dedicated to serving you, we are established, we are happy in our work.

I took the quote and layed it over the photo as if THEY were actually SAYING it.

Notice the nice space around the phone number. It breathes and draws your eye to it.  Capitalizing the word FREE and making it red again draws your attention to it.

Which ad do YOU think will perform better?

I think the choice is obvious and this is why I love what I do so much.   We started this campaign today and I believe this ad will really help the client get new business which in turn will keep them coming back to me.

The Lesson:
So the lesson here is to leave space.  White space is GOOD, cradle your creative in gorgeous comfy space and your viewers will feel comfortable when they visit you.  We all just need a great big hug of cotton-y white space!

Do YOU need help with an ad or marketing campaign?  Contact me!


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