Monday, August 22, 2011

Nice to see the word is getting around

The Toad Stoool is a good blog that often crosses between discussions of digital and Other Kinds of Advertising.

It was a little surprising, then, to see this discussion of simplicity as if it was some sort of revelation. Um, well duh, as they say.

Simplicity has always been a mantra of those who want to do great advertising. Luke Sullivan, who wrote what I think is the greatest book on creating ads that ever did be (Hey Whipple Squeeze This) pounds this thought home again and again. And if you didn't get it, one more time.

He was the one who, as far as I know, first used a stop sign as an example of the perfect "ad." A clear, simple message, a distinctive look and it draws attention. It works. Perfectly.

(And if you've never seen the hysterical video about how the design process would probably go if stop signs did not exist and some mega-corporation was charged with creating one, you can see it here.)

The thing that is sometimes hard for folks to understand is that the more stuff you cram into an ad (or a commercial or an e-mail or a web site or any other damn thing) the harder it is for your target to zero in on your primary message. Even though that "real estate" might be expensive, you're not really doing yourself any favors by over-filling it.

Something I heard a long time ago that I pull out whenever I'm trying to deal with the addition of This and That and a Bit More of The Other Thing is that everything in an ad devalues everything else there. And that makes sense.

So, yeah. Simplicity rules.Even if it's a game for your smartphone.

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