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Saturday, January 6, 2007

Illustration Agreement Rule

The image or illustration in your ad must agree with the headline next to it, right?

Not really.

Let me explain.

Let's say you're creating a magazine ad for a financial services company, and the headline is "Time to Swim with the Sharks." It might seem logical to choose a photo of a shark swimming in the ocean. The problem, then, is that potential prospects reading the magazine will flip right past the ad because they're not interested in sharks; they're interested in the services you sell.

So really, the illustration should agree with the products or services you’re selling, not with the headline copy. Going back to our example, the photo of your financial services ad should show your biggest selling message (perhaps the happy results of using your services), not a shark. What about the headline, "Time to Swim with Sharks" then? It should be dumped. It doesn't work. The headline, like the image, should broadcast your key selling message and not scary sea animals (unless that's what you're selling).

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