Copywriting – single minded offers

Journal of Arts Marketing Issue 06 – July 2002

Open to Persuasion
Getting the message across
When First Sport say they are ‘First for replica shirts’, we know instantly what they are offering and to whom.
When 20th Century Fox ask ‘If you had the opportunity, would you?’, we know what Unfaithful is about.
A single minded offer is essential when you have so little time to get your message across. Your advertisement has to stop readers in their tracks but, having got their attention, you need to tell them instantly what you are offering. If you don’t, they will turn the page.
The National Gallery tells us exactly what’s in the tin: ‘Golden Opportunity – free events to celebrate the Golden Jubilee’. The Theatre Museum, however, have so many different things to tell us about that the overall message is one of confusion (particularly because the ad has a subheading ‘Free entry’ above some ticket prices). This advertisement doesn’t tell readers what they need to know – what The Theatre Museum is about and what kind of experience they might expect. The Natural History Museum’s ad certainly catches the eye as it hoovers up the text on the page. But the copy line that makes the all important offer, ‘Play with the forces of nature’, is tucked away in tiny type at the foot of the page…
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