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Get straight to the point

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An ad that conveys a product's benefit with a concise image combined with an equally efficient headline or text enables an advertiser to get the most for the least. ¶ There are no wasted words, no long-winded stories and no extraneous images. The creative team gets right down to business with clear, strong and simple images and messages. Some ads have a posterlike quality. ¶ An ad for Dell's new Latitude E6400 laptop instantly underscores the product's portability and convenience with the photo of a businesswoman pecking away at her computer in what appears to be a lounge area in a well-polished corporate setting. In bold, black letters, the headline declares the benefit: “I want to work anywhere I choose.” The subhead supports the promise of the reward of portability by touting two key features: “First backlit keyboard for business. Dell Connection Manager. Up to 19 hours of battery life.” Enough said. The rest of the ad highlights the name of the product, a Web site, a toll-free number and the Dell and Intel Centrino logos. It takes only a matter of moments to grasp Dell's message. A photo of a woman who looks as if she's luxuriating at a spa accompanies a vignette about Dun & Bradstreet's new Purisma integration software. Here's the tale, whose opening lines serve as the headline: “So, you're at the quarterly sales meeting, and you've just heard about the priority on improved customer service. To make an impact, you need to appropriately align your sales teams with your customers to deliver the best service and the right answers. No problem.” The single-focus image of the woman enjoying her Zen moment plays effortlessly off the well-crafted burst of text that claims that Purisma can transform a business' data into an integrated package of customer insights. Every word of the conversational-sounding problem-solution copy plays an important role in delivering a message about the software. We also liked the graphic contrast between the black-and-white image and the field of yellow beneath the image. Along the same lines, Verizon Wireless tells a simple but convincing story about the ease of use of the new touch-screen BlackBerry called the Storm. “This is a BlackBerry? Because you're on your way to Japan, the presentation is a mess, and this is not the time to try some newfangled whatchamahoo. But wait. This whatchamahoo cuts, pastes, edits PowerPoint, and works in Kyoto? Oh yeah. This is a BlackBerry.” Reinforcing the text is the image of the touch screen displaying a colorful pie chart that's part of a slide show on a company's worldwide shipping sales. The execution has an edgy look thanks to its deep, dark background. Lumension Security gets to the heart of the matter with the image of a thumb drive that represents a world of trouble for a company and its employee who may have been careless with the device and allowed it to fall into the wrong hands. “What would you pay for this USB stick? ... Some would pay BILLIONS,” reads the headline. Lumension rides to the rescue in the text: “Every day you read about some company's intellectual property stored on a portable storage device that is either lost or stolen. With Lumension's Data Protection Solution you would know who is accessing your company's data and with what devices. Don't wait to find out how much someone would pay for your information.” In its call to action, Lumension invites readers to download a white paper on security or request a free, 30-day trial. All four of these ads smartly visualize the reward of the respective company's product or service and reinforce its message in copy that gives readers small doses of information. And best of all—it only takes a couple of seconds. M
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