I Love Bad Advertising

Advertising is one of my favorite mediums. So much can be said in so little space, and I can drive home a compelling message to hundreds of thousands of people in a relatively quick manner. One thing, in particular, that I love about advertising is all the horrible advertising that is out there. It provides me with job security because we produce the polar opposite of that.

Bad_ad_48hourprintYesterday I saw a very poorly conceived full page ad for online printing. The headline read: "You Buy Your Typefaces Online. Why not your printing?" Well, I’ll tell you why, and in fact any designer worth their salt could tell you why. This ad misses on nearly every single level. (I’ll give them one third of a point for remembering to put their logo on the ad.) Printing is best done locally so that the designer can perform a press check, if needed, and so that if there is a quality issue, it can be addressed on the spot. Not only that, but the headline boldly states that this ad is about typefaces. Printing is only meekly mentioned in the small subhead, and it is not in the least bit convincing. They’ve asked the viewer a question that is not thought-provoking. Instead, it only serves to disconnect the reader. Game over.

Comparing typeface purchases to print buying is like comparing a turnip to beef jerky. There is no comparison. The ad copy tries to draw out some sort of relevant comparison, but it completely collapses, even failing to provide a compelling call to action. Add that company to the prospect list.

Kelly Hobkirk - teaching marketers how to harness strategy, goals, reality, and purpose to connect and do better work.


Kelly Hobkirk has been helping companies succeed in creative ways for nearly 25 years. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, and books by Rockport and Rotovision. Get exclusive articles when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

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