Monday, April 16, 2007

Ineffective ads

There was a blurb in the Toronto Star about new ads to raise awareness of violence against women. They're supposed to be attention- grabbing.

Problem: I skimmed right over it without paying attention.

Why? Because the graphics of the ad look similar to the graphics of ads for dance or theatre performance or art exhibits - the kinds of ads you see in the Weekend Review section of the Globe and Mail. The word "Abuse" is in similar position, font, and size to the name of the performance or art work, the statistics are laid out similarly to the review blurbs, and the green bar at the bottom is similar to the information about where the piece is playing and how to buy tickets.

I don't know if this was all intentional, but when I saw the picture without reading it, my brain processed it as an ad for performance or art. And I'm not interested in seeing a play or dance piece or art exhibit about a beaten-up pregnant woman, so I ignored it. It wasn't until the third or fourth time my eye passed over it that it occurred to me that it was an article in the newspaper, not an ad.

I don't think it's very attention-getting to make an ad look like a different kind of ad.

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