Funny how people get fixed on stuff that doesn’t matter, as excuse for why ‘it’ doesn’t work in my town/my industry/my business yada yada yada.
This week, an email from a salon owner (not a Member) who’d seen some advertising by a nearby My Social Salon member salon, and was now chiding me for ‘dumbing down’ the beauty industry by encouraging our Members to use ‘copy-heavy’ advertising that puts more emphasis on the words than the pictures.
It was ‘unprofessional’, she said, ‘to do your kind of ugly marketing when we’re in the beauty industry. The advertising should reflect the quality of one’s salon. Yet you are encouraging salons to make their advertising look tacky.’
Well actually, no, I’m not.
But the whole premise of this writer’s complaint is off-target anyway. It’s typical of the wrong-headed thinking that pervades in all types of business, not just the beauty industry.
I’ve never advocated doing ‘ugly’ advertising for its own sake. What I DO advocate is doing ‘different’ advertising.
If a newspaper page is wallpapered with ‘pretty’ looking ads, complete with the usual photos of glamour babes sporting glossy hair and flawless skin, I’d want my ad to look exactly the opposite.
I’d want it to draw the reader’s eye like a bright light draws moths on a dark night, not to melt into the background as part of the blur of sameness.
But frankly, it’s not a desire to look ‘professional’ or ‘beautiful’ that makes most salon owners subscribe to the ‘my ad has to look pretty’ syndrome. It’s a lack of focus, and a belief that an ad should tell the reader everything about what the salon provides.
No, it shouldn’t. An ad should have one purpose and one purpose alone, and that is to get the reader to take action. That action might be to pick up the phone and call for a special offer, or it might be to do nothing more than go to a website and download a gift voucher…. One thing, that’s all.
Try to make your ad do more than one thing, and it’ll almost always fail. Too many choices, and people do nothing.
And if your ad is attempting to get people to do one thing, every single word, picture and graphic on that ad should be directed at that single purpose. Nothing wasted. No blank spaces.
Which in many cases means filling the ad with text.
If that makes it look ‘ugly’ compared with all the other ads in the same space, well and good.
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