Okay. Sometimes, I can be quite biased.
Just because I’m a copywriter, I tend to dismiss the other critical element of a great piece of marketing communication – the visual. Hey you can’t blame a writer who is defensive of his craft.
So why this sudden affinity towards visuals? Well you can’t refute facts, especially when they make a whole lotta sense. According to research by some geniuses, it is proven that:
People remember 80% of what THEY SEE
Compared to only 20% of what THEY READ
Pretty eye-opening stat, if you will. But it doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out. I would most likely remember the opening scenes of my favourite movie as opposed to the opening lines of my favourite book. Yes, we humans are intrinsically wired to prioritise visual information.
So that’s how people consume data, but here’s the more important stat part of the same research:
90% of the world’s data was created in the last 2 years.
Yes, the last 2 frigging years! And we all have access to virtually most of it thanks to accurate search platforms and social media.
So what does this mean for developing marketing communication content?
Find out everything you need to know about your audience
Don’t ramble, keep it simple and concise; made easy when you know your target
Take on an infographic mode wherever possible; icons, charts, graphs and illustrations
In essence, don’t add to the mindless drivel that’s growing exponentially every second. Say enough to evoke curiosity, compel action and you’re done.
The sad thing is, apparently only 28% of words in a webpage are actually read, which means 72% of this post just added to the mindless drivel.
“I love advertising, because I love lying”.
It wasn’t me, I didn’t utter those words. I’m not as bold and brazen as veteran comedian Jerry Seinfeld; who when accepting an honorary Clio – one of the ad industry’s highest creative accolades – spoke with brutal honesty about advertising.
Though the acceptance speech was meant to be a satirical take on the industry, you could just feel the audience’s amused yet disturbed reaction. For me though, it was 4 minutes of ROFL… a must-watch if you haven’t already:
Yes, I admit it. In my 16 years as a copywriter, I’ve done my fair share of lying. They may not be outright lies, but by Mr. Seinfeld’s definition…
I have duped innocent people out of hard-earned earnings to buy useless, low-quality, misrepresented items and services.
Sounds terrible when you word it that way, doesn’t it? But in true advertising traditions, you could also say:
I convince innocent people with relevant, timely information so that they spend their hard-earned earnings wisely on products and services that deliver the best value.
Or maybe something slightly more client-friendly:
I help consumers make smart purchasing decisions with appealing, compelling and concise information that allows them to choose the products and services that best fit their lifestyle.
Essentially, all of the above versions say the same thing. It’s just the wordplay that took Mr. Seinfeld’s observations and spinned it to something more, well, acceptable.
Same message, different interpretations, multiple executions.
But then again, there’s no substitute for honest, emotionally-driven, insightful communications that consumers will appreciate and eventually trust. If you ask me, that should be the only way to execute an ad campaign instead of the usual mumbo jumbo.
And to Mr. Seinfeld, we addies aren’t all that bad. We mostly just misdirect and sometimes hide the truth as opposed to blatantly lying to people’s faces.
Unlike this ridiculous promo for a movie you did some years ago…
When I receive communications from brands that begin with ‘Thank you for being a loyal customer bla bla bla…’, I feel like strangling the copywriter who wrote that opening.
But I am a fellow copywriter too, so perhaps just a smacking will suffice.
If I can’t find Coke, I’d probably drink Pepsi. No Pringles? Yeah okay, Mr. Potato will do. When Maxis sucked, I moved on to Digi.
Like most consumers, I’m hardly loyal. And I’ve repeatedly cheated on the brands that think I am their loyal customer. There is a significant difference between being loyal to a brand and being loyal to something that influences your life such as a loved one.
That difference is called emotion.
Brands try really hard to make an emotional connection with their customers, but often fail miserably. There is just no way for a brand to replace what really matters; like family, friends, career and all other attributes that make up our personality.
So I feel annoyed at the capacity of brands to assume that I am loyal to an entity that is purely after my money. But the truth is:
I am not loyal, I have no choice.
I would end my relationship with you the moment someone offers me a better deal, and as long as I have nothing to lose by moving on.
Yes, the caveat is ‘if I have nothing to lose’. Which is why, mortgages have a ‘lock-in’ period that charges a hefty sum. Also the reason behind why telcos have contracts that impose a penalty upon termination.
And then they have the cheek to call me loyal!
If brand communications were truthful, then that letter would say ‘thank you for not going to our competitor, we really need your money to pay our inflated corporate salaries bla bla bla…’