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Advertising Management and Sales Promotion

Unit 6

Unit 6

Advertising Copy and Design Strategy

Structure:
6.1 Introduction
Objectives
6.2 Advertising Copy
Types of advertising copy
6.3 Creativity in Advertising
6.4 Copy Testing Methods
6.5 Visual Strategies
Art department specialists
Developing a layout
Power of synergy
6.6 Summary
6.7 Glossary
6.8 Terminal Questions
6.9 Answers

6.1 Introduction
In the previous unit, you learnt about the factors that affect the
persuasiveness of an advertising message. In this unit, you will study ad
copy and design strategies to enhance advertisings persuasiveness.
Both copy and visuals are important elements of any ad and go hand-inglove in delivering the advertising message. Together, they form the
creative components of an advertisement. It is important to learn how to
design these elements because the impact of an ad not only depends on
what is said, but also on how it is said.
Objectives:
After studying this unit, you should be able to:
analyse the importance of copy in a campaign
distinguish between different kinds of copy
explain the importance of creativity in advertising
describe copy testing
explain the details of the visual part of an ad

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6.2 Advertising Copy


Advertising copy is the text of a print, radio, television ad (or ad in any other
medium) that aims at catching and holding the interest of the prospective
buyer, and eventually persuading him/her to make a purchase all within a
short time. The headline is considered to be the most important part of a
print copy that is supposed to convey the main message in an ad and
hopefully, sell the product to the reader even if he/she doesnt read the
entire ad. Advertising professionals will tell you that an ad is about ONE
IDEA. Readers should know what that idea is by the time they finish reading
the headline.
Most ads try to keep the ad copy simple and brief, making the offer or
benefit as irresistible as possible, to rise above the clutter of competition.
The ad copy takes unusual ideas presented with fascinating treatment, or
what the advertising industry calls THE BIG IDEA. Although a short
advertising copy is more prevalent in FMCG advertising, a long copy is often
read by consumers if it succeeds in catching their fancy or aids them in
making a critical purchase decision.
In the last century, copy was typically written from the manufacturer or
brands point of view. It highlighted a brands features and attributes, such
as the most acclaimed science college, market leader since 1955,
winner of export award, all with a we focus. It left the target wondering
what was there in it for him. Now copy is written with a you focuskeeps
your skin petal soft in harsh winter, cures the most stubborn dandruff, get
extra 3 km per litre with this new additive in the petrol, etc., always
highlighting what benefits the user will get. The objective is to hook the
reader and then stay on in his mind by the power of good communication
until the desired action is taken.
The job of a copy is to touch the target at a subliminal level. It also has to
attract attention to the important benefits and features of the brand,
supported by a strong selling message; all in a simple, reader-friendly and
inviting language. Brevity, accuracy and simplicity are the core of good
copywriting. Although a witty copy strikes a chord with its consumers, it is
important that copywriters are rather clear, than clever. Clearly, it is not an
easy job. Most successful copywriters are highly specialised in two or three
areas and none can write for all the products an agency will service.
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Industrial, technical and scientific clients would need a copywriter with a


clear mind, who can comprehend the technicality and complexity of the
product or service in the first place, before any acceptable writing can be
attempted. Consumer products on the other hand need a highly
entertaining, competitive and gripping writing style.
Activity 1
Pick up any print advertisement from your favourite magazine and
identify the headline. Determine the main idea of that print ad. Mention
what was the focus of the copy of the ad.
6.2.1 Types of advertising copy
Here are some of the major types of ads and thus copy that is written to suit
these ads:

Consumer advertising These are the prima donnas of advertising,


the most visible, expensive, lavish, most frequently repeated in multiple
media and the most entertaining of the genre. Naturally, such ads attract
the best of the professional creative talent. Since they have to be
repeated endlessly to beat competition, the copies are designed to
withstand the boredom of repetition. They attempt to influence the target
either to switch a brand or to continue using the advertised brand. These
are FMCG products like food, clothes and household appliances and
beauty care products used by ordinary folks in their daily life. So, the
message is entertaining, direct and hard selling. Attractive visuals are an
important part of these ads, whereas copy tends to be minimal.

Corporate advertising These ads do not try to sell the brands


manufactured by the company, but attempts to build the equity and
image for the company itself. These are created when a company feels
that it has reached a status wherein it is bigger than the sum total of its
products. Such ads talk about the integrity, quality consciousness,
welfare programmes, social responsibility of the company, etc., and
hope that some of the prestige will rub off on its brands.
In the short run, this category may seem wasteful and pointless,
especially in times of recession, since by definition they have to be large
ads. But this is absolutely necessary, because only when a consumer

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trusts and respects the company, he/she will continue to buy the brands
he/she may already be using, but buy any of the new products
introduced by the company in the future.
The house of Tata handles corporate ads with superb elegance. Until
about 30 years ago, the Tatas made only steel, trucks and all such
boring and dreary things. Then they startled the country by
diversifying into high class jewellery (Tanishq), exquisite watches
(Titan), sports utility vehicles (e.g. Sumo) and then, the first
passenger car completely designed and produced by an Indian
company, the Indica range of cars. Each of these products had
teething problems, but people bought them anyway, since the faith in
the integrity of the Tata group was so absolute and complete and
because the house of Tata is perceived to be bigger than all its
products put together. The corporate ads of Tata, such as the
celebrated one which said, We also make steel had gone a long
way in enhancing the groups image. The Tatas did it again in 2009
with the launch of Tata Nano, the smallest and cheapest car in the
world. Nobody had much idea about what kind of market the car
could be launched in or the kind of roads that would be suitable for
the Nano. But lakhs of people queued up for it as soon as the booking
opened. The Tatas, however, were more restrained and observed
that Nano is not a Honda, to tame down the enthusiasm. Such is the
value of corporate equity.
Image or corporate advertising is often used in situations where an
organisation needs to educate the target audience on some issue. For
instance, it may be used in situations where a merger has occurred
between two companies and the newly formed company has taken on a
new name (e.g. the Vodafone ads that simply said, Hutch is now
Vodafone). Such ads are also used in case a company has received
recent negative publicity and wants to let the market know that they
have much more to offer, which would make the issue on hand look
small (e.g. A drop of happiness ads by Coca-Cola after the pesticide
issue). This category is also used to announce research carried on,
charitable and social welfare work done by the company or its status or

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contribution in times of extraordinary national crisis affecting much of its


customers and targets.

Advocacy advertising Organisations use such advertising to send a


message intended to influence a targeted audience. In most cases,
there is an underlying benefit sought by an organisation when they
engage in advocacy advertising. For instance, an organisation may take
a stand on a political issue, which they feel could negatively impact it
and release advertisements to voice their position on the issue.
The Mobile Manners campaign was a pioneering stance taken by
Hutch that urged consumers to use their mobile phones responsibly.
A television commercial for Hutch depicts a father playing with his
little son. The father then fetches his mobile to take a picture of the
baby. But the annoyed kid seizes the mobile and throws it away. The
next shot shows a line on the screen that reads, Bina izazat photo na
kheechein. The commercial is then closed with the Hutch logo

Advertorial advertising This is a tool to enhance the credibility of


advertising copy and is common these days. Consumers and readers
alike have become cynical about the hyperbole and intrusiveness
associated with regular advertising and discount it immediately. The
advertorials, though paid for and labelled in small type as
advertisement, are written exactly like an editorial piece. Similar writing
style of formal language, paragraphs and punctuations, typeface,
column width, technique of headlines and sub-headlines and flat, square
photographs as regular journalistic editorials, make people believe that
the newspaper itself has written it and stands by it.
This technique is used to give the reading public information that
ordinarily cannot be given in an advertisement, such as ongoing
research, discovery of new product benefits, new products in the
pipeline, international joint ventures clinched, export profile, large
increase in sale or profit, etc. Such ads are created with the hope that it
would reflect on the brand itself, through heightened prestige and trust in
the company.

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Public service advertising This advertising is used for the cause of


public good. It is a corollary of corporate advertising and flourishes when
the economy does well. These are also released when a company can
afford to talk about things other than its products. This genre gives
information not ordinarily available to the common man, such as where
to find help or support group for alcoholism, cancer or HIV, polio
vaccination, basic healthcare, domestic violence, government funded
services, addiction, educational information, etc. Figure 6.1 depicts
Cancer Patients Aid Association subtly conveying such messages.
Family planning messages by the Family Planning Department or antismoking messages by Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) are also
examples of public service advertising.

Second hand smoke kills

Fig. 6.1: Public Service Advertisement

These ads are also often released by products, which are not allowed to
advertise in mass media in India, such as alcoholic beverages, ethical
drugs and services. For instance, a liquor manufacturer may release ads
on evils of drunkenness and where to find help to overcome addiction;
an ethical drug manufacturer can give information for detection and
treatment of diseases for which it manufactures medication.
Like alcoholic beverages, the government has stopped mass media
advertising for tobacco products also since 2004, as the USA
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government just did in 2009. Thus, these two categories often use public
service ads to keep their brand names familiar in the minds of the
targets.

Financial advertising 200709 had been bad for businesses.


Otherwise, most companies prefer to raise finance from public directly
through Initial Public Offering (IPOs). To introduce these, a set of 34
ads are released a corporate ad that persuades an investor to trust the
company, one ad to familiarise the reader or investor with the products
and brands of the company, a financial ad that describes the offer, then
an ad thanking the investors. Sometimes just one ad combines all of it.
These are highly technical ads written by copywriters specialising in
finance.

Industrial advertising These are informative and unglamorous,


occupying a huge amount of advertising space and budget. They sell all
the capital goods, B-to-B and intermediary industrial products,
maintenance and after-care services, etc. Usually these ads are
released in industrial journals and magazines. This category also
includes other kinds of industrial communication including catalogues,
manuals, specification sheets, after-care and maintenance manuals, etc.
Industrial copywriters are highly specialised and valued because they
need the ability to understand and then write about any technical
product that comes to them.

Specialty advertising It is also known as collaterals. This is a form of


sales promotion but designed by the advertising agency. A company can
have its name and a slogan printed on glasses (for a manufacturer of
alcoholic beverages), caps, school bags, jackets, key chains, pens, etc.,
which work as a kind of brand extension. They are sometimes giveaways and are designed to increase public awareness of the brand.

Trade advertising This type is strictly for selling within the trade and
released only in trade magazines and newspapers. They are highly
technical, brief, to the point, descriptive and no-nonsense business
communication.

Direct Mail (DM) advertising It is a kind of tactical advertising, which


is aimed at stimulating a sale directly. It is delivered straight to the

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consumer and generally includes an offer. For example, a direct mail


received from Readers Digest persuading you to subscribe for three
years straight for a 25% discount. You will learn in detail about this tool
in Unit 8. This needs special kind of copywriting, since it contains many
pieces such as a personalised letter and envelope, catalogues, flyers,
response cards, all pulling together to sell the brand or service.

Retail advertising It is aimed at building store traffic, creating a


distinctive image for the store and more often than not, at triggering
sales in the short run (direct response). Retail advertising is more
informational, giving details about the outlet and its offerings. For
example, your local merchant might put up a small note on his
blackboard that home delivery will be provided free of cost. The
explosion of consumerism in India has crystallised this type of
advertising. Especially with fancy shopping malls even in small towns
now, retail advertising requires specialised copy strategy. These are
strictly local and paid for by the retailers and not the manufacturers. For
shopping malls, often these ads are paid for by a group of shops.

Cooperative advertising In this, several parties with same brands or


products share the advertising expense. It is an excellent tool applied in
malls and busy shopping areas where they sell similar products,
cosmetics or garment brands. Distributors and service providers for
expensive machinery, where the product ad itself is paid for by the
stakeholders, also use this kind of advertising. In return, the paying
entities are allowed to insert their detailed contacts for potential
customers.

Recruitment advertising India being a young and growing nation,


recruitment ads are nearly as important as consumer ads. These are
released in special pages of daily newspapers, in classified sections and
online. Most general interest magazines, like India Today, also have
recruitment sections. The objective of these ads is not only to attract the
best talent available, but also to sell the image of the company.

Classifieds and personal advertising This class has grown into a


huge segment in itself. It can be anything from an ad for a lost cat to an
obituary or birthday greeting, lost and found columns to job vacancy
listings. Since these are released by common people, they have to be

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written very tightly and clearly to attract maximum response without


being too telegraphic or expensive.

Tender advertising This is not exactly exciting copy, but an


inalienable part of serving a client. These ads inform a companys
suppliers about the goods and services it requires from time to time.

Notification and legal ads This is a large category of ads on various


issues such as change of name, admission and recruitment notices,
change of telephone numbers and addresses, intention to buy property,
marriage announcements, legal termination of an employee, etc. Such
ads may be issued by individuals or organisations and are bland,
minimalistic and to-the-point.

Outdoor advertising This covers a big area and includes everything


from hoardings, posters, lit panels, etc. in railway stations and airports,
on the sidewalls of buildings, lamp poles on the road, etc. Such ads are
also called Out-Of-Home or OOH. This is a good medium to reach
people who do not read newspapers and magazines or watch television
regularly, because either they are at work till late at night or because
they travel. Such people also buy, and more important, they influence
purchase or pay for them. These ads are designed to be reminder
media, because people see it only in passing, while walking or driving
and are not likely to stop and read a whole message. Therefore, they
need brief and pithy copy with no more than 68 words. The messages
should have visuals with drama and impact, often comprising just a
powerful headline and pack shot.

Reminder and Point-of-Purchase (PoP) media These are all the instore pieces like danglers, tents, placemats in bars and restaurants,
which just mention the brand name and colour scheme of the company.
Nobody is reading in these situations, so the copy is brief, may be just a
slogan. These are extremely effective, because they catch the eye of the
shopper or diner without him/her even being aware of it and the chances
of him/her picking up that brand with top-of-the-mind recall is high.
These are usually considered the domain of the sales and marketing
staff, but are written and designed by the advertising agency. They
follow the slogan, colour scheme and general mood of the campaign
running at that time.

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Self Assessment Questions


1. The _____________ is considered to be the most important part of a
print copy that is supposed to convey the main message in an ad.
2. ______________ do not try to sell the brands manufactured by the
company, but attempts to build the equity and image for the company
itself.
3. ______________ are written exactly like an editorial piece.
4. Advertisements on polio vaccination and basic healthcare are
examples of ____________ advertising
5. Industrial advertising sell all the capital goods, B-to-B and intermediary
industrial products, maintenance and after-care services, etc.
(True/False)
6. Speciality advertising is also known as collaterals. (True/False).
7. In _____________ advertising several parties with same brands or
products share the advertising expense.
8. Outdoor advertisements covers a big area and includes everything
from hoardings, posters, etc. (True/False)

6.3 Creativity in Advertising


There is a lot of hype and noise about creativity in advertising, largely
created by the advertising professionals themselves. It is a truly indefinable
quality that defies structure, definition or even rational comprehension.
Creating a good advertisement is not a simple task. A good piece of ad is a
hard-headed business communication, released at a tremendous expense,
designed to deliver results, much beyond the scale of expense involved.
Advertising luminaries are of the opinion that creativity in advertising is
about delivering a relevant selling message in an unexpected manner, such
that it catches the attention of the target audiences. It establishes a
connection with them and makes them want to read, listen or view. The
agency DDB Needham aptly summarises this concept of creativity in
advertising through its ROI Springboard, one of the central tools for effective
communication: an idea is considered creative when it is relevant, original
and impactful (ROI).1

Source: www.ddb.com; www.answers.com

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Note the word relevant. Creativity should be in line with the advertising
strategy and marketing objective. Creativity that ignores the aptness or
purpose of a message fails in bringing desired results. Original means
unique or one of a kind. Original ideas are those that only one person
thinks of. Commercials that convert Bollywood songs into jingles, soap ads
that tritely present delectable models bathing with their brands, television
commercials that use corny song-dance sequences, are all examples of
unoriginality in advertising. After the success of the fairness cream Fair &
Lovely, there were a few of brands that emphasised the same thing in their
commercialsFairness will get you appreciation, better opportunities in life
or enhance marital prospects. Let alone the message, even their creatives
looked the same with dollops of pink colour symbolising fairness. While
originality brings creativity, note that it comes at the cost of risk. One has to
shed ones level of comfort of following the trodden path by being different.
Further, it is pertinent to check that what is original is also relevant and
called for.
When Vodafone launched Zoozoos (as depicted in Figure 6.2) during the
Indian Premier League (IPL) season to promote its value added services,
it undertook a huge risk in using white creatures with ballooned bodies
and egg-shaped heads. Although these characters were actually thinbodied women in layers of white fabric, they looked animated. Their facial
expressions were made of rubber and pasted on the actors. The
background sets were simple, with a neutral tone of grey. On top of it,
these funny-looking characters spoke a language that was utter
gibberish. Neither any mobile service provider nor any other advertiser
had anything close to Zoozoos. They could have been a hit or miss.
Luckily, the ads were a huge hit among the Indian audience. People
thought that Zoozoos were cute. Not only did people like these eggheaded characters, they loved the amusing short stories told in the 30+
television commercials.

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Fig. 6.2: Vodafone Advertisement

The campaign received several awards and garnered a huge fan


following on the social network too. There are more than 200 Facebook
pages on ZooZoos having over 200,000 fans and the number is growing
daily. The ads were also viewed by thousands of people on Youtube.
Originality did pay off.
(Source: Bala, V. (2009, May 22). Here come the Zoozoos. Express Buzz.)

Creating an impact means creating communication that is effective and


that gets a particular result public appreciation and award, increase in
sales, enhancement of brand equity, etc. Impact is about the way an ad
communicates. A dull ad will deliver the message but will not catch the
audiences attention or achieve the desired result. This means that
originality by itself does not lead to strong advertising. Imagination that
merely runs riot is not creativity. Similarly, creativity leads to entertainment
but it should not be used for amusements sake alone. Creative messages
should translate into accomplishment of objective, be it sales or awareness
creation otherwise it is loves labour lost.
A piece of really good creative work is largely intuitive. It needs many kinds
of mundane inputs from many sources. But the result is a sparkling, stirring
personal message that hooks the interest of the reader or viewer instantly,
hopefully leading to action, that is, purchase. For example, when you say, X
brand moisturiser is hard at work even when you sleep. It whisks years off
your skin like a magic wand. Which woman can resist it? Yet, a dab of
glycerine and water at night will deliver exactly the same result. Really?
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Which woman will believe it? This is what creativity is all about. It is a
combination of truth and fantasy, dream and reality, all anchored in buying
capacity and designed to catch the imagination of the target.
However, this cannot happen in a vacuum. Some amount of hardcore
information must be supplied to the creative team, as part of a document
that is called the creative brief. The creative brainstorming process
includes:
Facts and figures about the company
All file information about the product
Target group and desired target profile
Consumer research results, if any
Gathering and analysis of data
Problem definition
Search for an idea
Idea production from tentative leads
Developing the idea
Modification according to the client, his/her marketing and sales teams
Adapting the idea to each component of the multi media campaign
The creative process must take into consideration:
Marketing proposition
Marketing research
Manufacturing specifications
Dealer and retailer feedback
User feedback if available
Perceived dreams and desired lifestyle of the target
Social image and profile of the target
Aspirations versus purchasing power
Market perception and positioning of the brand
Unless all these are kept in view, the message simply will not register with
the target, wasting all the money spent on it. Thus in a way, copywriting and
visualising are a cynical business. It brings to the surface subliminally, often
not very clear to the target himself, all the hidden desires, longings,
perceived shortcoming in him/her and leads him/her to buy a product he/she

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may not need or even use much in some cases. But at some level, buying
the product meets a deep emotional need.
Advertising professionals who work in the creative department, such as
copywriters, visualisers, art directors, graphic artists, photographers, DTP
operators, etc., are concerned with the nitty-gritties of creating an ad.
However, a thorough understanding of the process is also needed for the
executives on the clients side who will work with the advertising agencies,
as well as the client servicing executives of the agency. Although they do
not do the actual creative work, they must get a pragmatic and
comprehensive brief from the client. They can then sell the campaign back
to the client with an understanding of what they are talking about and
communicate it appropriately. Sensible agencies prepare a written note
called the campaign defence for the client servicing staff, explaining the
details of the creative concept. This produces the retort that if a campaign
has to be explained, then it is not a good campaign.

6.4 Copy Testing Methods


Copy testing is a specialised field of marketing research that determines an
ads effectiveness based on consumer responses, feedback and behaviour.
Also known as pre-testing, it covers all media channels including television,
print, radio, Internet and social media.2 Advertising involves a huge amount
of money and coordination of multimedia releases across the country, a
giant operation in itself, especially for MNC companies selling FMCG, such
as Hindustan Unilever or Proctor and Gamble. They start with many
campaigns presented by the advertising agency, shortlist to a few and then
use established methods to market test the campaign. Although the entire
ad is tested, inclusive of copy and visual, for some reason the process is
called copy testing.
Started by A. C. Nielsen, and later followed by many others at local and
international levels, market research to support advertising agencies is a
necessity today. They measure audience reaction to ads to aid agencies for
copy and media decision-making, because an agency can sometimes make
costly mistakes. Think of an ad not as what you put into it, but as what the
2

Source: www.wikipedia.org

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consumer takes out of it, said Rosser Reeves in Reality in Advertising, as


long ago as in 1961.
Copy testing may address anything ranging from change in pricing,
introducing new features or reinforcing old benefits to persuade consumers
to think differently about the brand. It also includes checking if the new
feature of the product or campaign concept turned out to be too threatening
for loyal customers. Researchers have arrived at four types of copy testing
scores. Report card measures are used to arrive at a valid, single-number
statistic to capture the overall performance of the advertising creative.
Single measures such as an ads ability to break through into the minds of
consumers and register a brand message in their long-term memory, create
persuasion, generate attention and develop branding are used to measure
an ads effectiveness. Diagnostic measures are used to understand why
attention, branding, motivation, etc., are high or low and to help advertisers
identify creative opportunities to improve executions. Non-verbal measures
are developed to measure those elements of advertising, which cannot be
expressed in words or scaled through verbal rating statements. Researchers
believe that many times an ads effects (such as emotions) may not even be
perceived consciously. Moment-by-moment measures have sprung from the
belief that a commercial need not be rated in its entirety but as a flow of
varying experiences because consumer responses can vary from scene to
scene while viewing a commercial.3 In 1982, a consortium of 21 leading
advertising agencies of the US released a public document where they laid
out the Positioning Advertising Copy Testing (PACT) Principles on what
constitutes a good copy testing system.4
On the ground, in few cases copy testing is done, although there are
established systems and organisations that test print and television
advertising quite reliably. Logic says it is risky to rely entirely on the intuition
and judgement of the agency staff or the manufacturers market experience
or the chairmans personal choice. Reasons for resistance could include

Source: Young, C. E. (2005, April). The Advertising Research Handbook. Ideas in


Flight, pp. 722.
4

Source: www.wikipedia.org

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huge time and money involved, unreliable sample quality, etc. On the
agency side, it can inhibit the freshness and creativity of the copywriters and
visualisers, if they are worrying about the selection process, which will
reward only the campaign that scores well. It may not necessarily sell well or
create long-term influence. In any case, copy testing only tells which
campaign is working, but not why. Thus, the decision of testing lies with the
advertiser since he/she is the one who pays for this huge exercise.
Therefore, the selection of copy testing method, process, time involved and
exactly what aspect is being tested are important, and it needs to be
ensured that the campaign is not created to pass the copy test.
What, when, why, are important. Copy testing can be done to check
strategy, concept, execution and media.
As a pre-test at the beginning of concept generation stage
At the end of the creative process
When basic production is over, especially radio spots and television
commercials or
After the campaign is launched, this being a post-test
Rough copy, storyboard testing and animatics, which is a video of the rough
drawings and dubbed speech, radio jingles just sung without instrumental
support, etc., are used. Ideally, a nearly finished campaign should be tested
and at least two concepts approved by everybody. That is expensive, but
then so is a brilliant campaign that is loved by everybody, that goes out all
over the country in multiple media, but fails to show results.
Copy testing may involve measuring such as:
Recognition of the release, done by mail survey, using tested mailing
lists
Recall, aided and unaided
Persuasion or ability to change attitude
Purchase behaviour
Brand loyalty and amount of the product actually purchased
Emotional response
There are endless tools, methods, assessment criteria and interpretation of
this exercise. It is best left to the professionals who conduct the surveys and
present the results.
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6.5 Visual Strategies


The visual part of an advertising campaign is not just creative art that
expresses imagination and beauty. It is a serious piece of professional
communication that delivers a selling message. In a good ad, the copy tells
half the message and the visual the other half, creating a complete
communication, such as in the advertisement by ItchGuard depicted in
Figure 6.3.

Fig. 6.3: Advertisement of Itch Guard

Powerful visuals are needed to catch the attention of the target, so that the
copy can do its own job of telling the benefits of the brand, or whatever the
objective of the campaign is. A visual is the first element that a reader
notices in a print ad. It performs many functions like grabbing attention,
conveying the message, demonstrating use, differentiating the look of an ad,
etc.
A great many components and concepts go into creating the visual. The
model, colours and actions should be appropriate to the message as well as
the target group, so that they catch attention. Typography must be beautiful,
fashionable and reader-friendly so that the ad does not get a dodgy look.
The photography should support the message and not just portray beautiful
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Unit 6

models or exciting cars. Great deal of careful thinking and sheer talent go
into combining all these factors to create an ad, which may appear quite
ordinary or even simple.
Visualisation should not be confused with layout design or the image of the
ad. Visualisation means the ability to see the ad in imagination in such a
way that it shows the message and concept of the campaign in a physical or
visual image. It has to be done in the most powerful, evocative, persuasive
and economical way, since models, photographers and illustrators are
extremely expensive professionals. Only then comes the skill of arranging
all the components in the most appealing and attractive way, which is the
layout design.
Now much of the work in a design or advertising studio is done on
computers, with an option for many excellent colour design software. This
only reduces the drudgery and time for doing skilled work by hand and does
not manage to outdo the sheer talent and brilliance that the art department
professionals need.
6.5.1 Art department specialists
What is informally called an advertising agency studio, an art department
employs many specialists. Starting with the creative director, art director,
visualisers, DTP operators, finishing artists and graphic designers, a large
number of highly trained and talented people work in perfect coordination to
produce the ultimate product. The advertising campaign may look quite
ordinary but is not.
The art specialists are all trained in different levels and kinds of commercial
art schools, ranging from 6-month long graphic design courses to 5-year full
time commercial art degree courses. But that is the technical side of it. They
all need a high degree of imagination, talent and the ability to play with
visual concepts and communicate through images. They work long hours,
are disciplined, work under tough deadlines and must accept rejection of
concepts by clients just like the copywriters.
The details of an advertising agency art department have been discussed in
Unit 3.

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6.5.2 Developing a layout


A layout is the art directors counterpart of a blueprint or a map to roughly
lay, position and size various print elements like headlines, visuals, body
copy and brand logo. Different art directors work differently. Some make
rough pencil scribbles on tracing paper to assemble all the components an
ad will have headline, photograph, body copy, photo captions, company
address, etc. and then develop the final layout design. Some work on
computer directly to do the same. There are many wonderful colour design
software available now, which make studio work easier. But the final
challenge is still the creativity, which translates an abstract concept into a
powerful and visible selling message, a target can be attracted to.
A layout serves as a communication tool for various creative personnel
working on different print elements as they get a broad idea of the overall
design and where their piece will stand. A layout brings together all
elements of a print. Arranging them all in order to attract attention and make
sense is quite an exigent task. Design decisions have to take into
consideration the functional aspects of layout, i.e. making the message
more organised and easily perceivable, as well as the aesthetic aspects of
making the ad more agreeable to the eye.
A good layout should have a few characteristics apart from the above
components. It should have a good balance and harmony and should not
look haphazardly put together. A standard rule is 1/3 of the space for copy,
1/3 for the visual and 1/3 white space. This way, the white space gives it an
image of graciousness and separates the ad from the surrounding editorial
and other ads to make it memorable. However, the media rates are now so
wickedly expensive that this rule cannot be followed always. While
designing layouts, bear in mind what researchers have to say: visual,
headline and copy are important in that order. A picture is viewed first and it
must be attention grabbing. Then the headline must drive the reader into
reading the copy. And, unless it is really outstanding, full copy is hardly read
by most readers.
The layout should look well integrated to form a whole, strengthening the
contribution of each component, like colour, photographs, special typeface,
etc. Good photography adds movement, action, texture and life even in still
ads in the print medium. However, commercial photographers are expensive
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and many agencies use freelance or syndicated photographers and


videographers. Not all ads require photographs. Linedrawings, illustrations
and wash drawings are often used to add sharpness, precision and force to
a motif.
Colour is a powerful tool and can be in itself a medium of communication.
It is used in stopping and luring readers, establishing a mood and look,
building brand identity and providing realism. Soft pretty colours are used for
women and childrens products, strong harsh primary colour for products
meant for men, like motorbikes. Green is the colour of spring, of hope,
health, freshness and youth. Red stands for passion, strength, etc.
Typography is the second most powerful visual component. There are
hundreds of decorative type fonts available now, which are distinctive and
decorative. Font type is chosen according to the mood and message of the
ad. Good art directors always choose a font that is not only beautiful and
smart, but is also easy to read and remember. Ornate, decorative but
cluttered typefaces are used by inexperienced art directors only. If a reader
cannot read easily, he/she will simply move on.
Typefaces are of two kinds, serif and sans serif. Serif is the little line at
the bottom of a letter. These types are also called Roman. They are used
when long text is needed, such as in newspapers. The serifs separate the
characters and make them easier to read. Sans serif or without serif types
have straight characters. They look smart and slim but often are difficult to
read in a long text. Cursive or script types are from the calligraphic family.
They are beautiful but hard to read. Italics group is of slanting typefaces.
Selection of an appropriate typeface is a major part of the art directors
work.
Each font has several characteristics. They differ in height or vertical
measurement, which is measured in point size. There are 72 points in an
inch and running text is usually composed in 9 to 12 points, headlines in 18
to 72 points. Some designers like to use a lot of capital letters, mistakenly
thinking it adds force and emphasis. It is better to restrict capitalisation to
only the first character of a sentence and for a proper noun. Capital letters
used in the middle of a sentence to add emphasis are visually jarring and
take away from reading comfort.

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6.5.3 Power of synergy


It is absolutely essential that copy and visual pull together to deliver the total
message. If this integration is not maintained, the ad can create such
subconscious discomfort in the target that he/she just tunes out and may
even develop a negative attitude for the brand. In a good studio or creative
department, copywriter and art director are friends with excellent mutual
understanding and discuss each job together to ensure that there is perfect
harmony between these two components. Only then the ad will have an
impact. And to do that, both of these professionals must understand the
medium of the other well.
Self Assessment Questions
9. Creativity that ignores the aptness or purpose of a message fails in
bringing desired results. (True/False).
10. _______________ is a specialised field of marketing research that
determines an ads effectiveness based on consumer responses,
feedback and behaviour.
11. A ____________ is the first element that a reader notices in a print ad.

6.6 Summary
Let us recapitulate the important concepts discussed in this unit:

At the core of advertisings creative work, is the actual content of an


advertisement, be it a print ad, a radio or television commercial, etc.
Each has a text and an image, called copy and visual by the advertising
professionals and grouped together as creative work.

The copy and visual style of the selling communication change along
with the message and medium: and with each type of communication,
changes the technique of writing and visualising the ad. The best ads
are the ones where there is complete integration of copy and visual and
together they deliver a powerful selling message. Then the ad becomes
much more than the combination of the two.

Since an advertisement is released at a huge cost in many media,


naturally there is some uncertainty about how it will fare and how the
target group may react to it. Most ads are released depending on the
judgement of the advertising agency and the advertiser. But consumer
durable and FMCG campaigns cost millions and more caution is

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necessary. There are many survey agencies and services, which can
check out the effectiveness of a campaign before it is released. It takes
a lot of time and money; therefore smaller firms do not get involved in
this. If feasible, copy and campaign testing is highly recommended.

6.7 Glossary
Copy: refers to the text, or words, used in an advertisement
Copywriting: a creative process of conceptualising the advertisements by
presenting words to best communicate a concept in order to persuade
Intuitive: based on what one senses or feels to be true without reasoning or
rational process
Copy testing: a specialised field that determines the effectiveness of ad or
message based on consumer responses, feedback and behaviour;
Synergy: positive effect of working together

6.8 Terminal Questions


1. What role does advertising copy play in a campaign? Why does copy
have to be written with great knowledge and skill?
2. Write notes on: Corporate advertising and Advertorial advertising
3. What is copy testing and why is it essential, especially for large multi
media campaigns?
4. Explain the significance of powerful visuals in an advertisement.

6.9 Answers
Self
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.

Assessment Questions
headline
Corporate advertisements
Advertorials
public service
True
True
Cooperative
True
True
Copy testing
visual

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Advertising Management and Sales Promotion

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Terminal Questions
1. Advertising copy aims at catching and holding the interest of the
prospective buyer, and eventually persuading him/her to make a
purchase. Refer section 6.1 and 6.2 for more details.
2. Corporate ads do not try to sell the brands manufactured by the
company, but attempts to build an image for the company itself.
Organisations use advertorial advertising to send a message intended to
influence a targeted audience. Refer section 6.2.1 for more details
3. Copy testing is a specialised field of marketing research that determines
an ads effectiveness based on consumer responses, feedback and
behaviour. Refer section 6.4 for more details.
4. A visual is the first element that a reader notices in a print ad. Powerful
visuals are needed to catch the attention of the target. Refer section 6.5
for more details
References:
Bala, V. (2009, May 22). Here come the Zoozoos. Express Buzz.
Young, C. E. (2005, April). The Advertising Research Handbook. Ideas
in Flight, pp. 722.
Batra, R., Myers, J. G., & Aaker, D. A. (2009). Advertising Management
(Fifth ed.). Pearson Education India.
E-References:
www.answers.com
www.ddb.com
www.wikipedia.org

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