I’ve been doing my own advertising creative and design work for close to 15 years. For my own businesses and for clients. And, one of the things I consistently say is:
Don’t use humor in headlines or make images the focus.
And, I give the same advice for blogs. The reason isn’t that they don’t work, it’s that humor is often (a) hugely subjective or (b) used as a crutch when you’ve got nothing else to offer. And, when it comes to images, all too often, they may be pretty or funny or edgy, but they add nothing to the emotion or “social triggers” beyond a dash of color.
But, every once in a while, you find a way to work humor and images into your ads that creates magic.
I just rediscovered the above advertisement. It was a full-page newspaper ad I created for my personal fitness facility back in 1999. The kid in the picture was my nephew and the headline popped into my head the moment I saw the shot. We ran it for a single week. It cost about $1,600 (hey, it wasn’t the NY Times) and it generated more than $50,000 in annualized revenue…not including 3 moms who called to find out how much the kid in the picture cost.
That’s $3,125 in revenue for every $100 spent on advertising. Not a bad return on investment.
So, what’s the moral?
Know the rules. But, even better…know when to break ’em.
And, now, a question…
Why’d it work so well?
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