Long copy lives

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IBM builds its long-copy ad around a colorful infographic that resembles a Rube Goldberg contraption. The depiction of a painfully complicated IT deployment is engagingly whimsical, especially for younger audiences who are fond of visuals. Like Panasonic, IBM takes the time and the space in this eye-catching execution to explain how it's created a system to substantially reduce the time it takes an IT department to specify and procure components. A 100-word copy block would hardly do that justice. States the copy: “Using patterns established by IBM and leading software vendors, this new breed of expert integrated systems can be up and running in as little as four hours. And once deployed, these systems can automatically scale and adjust resources as the needs of business change—a process that might otherwise take weeks—freeing IT people to focus on larger, more strategic goals.” Back in the day, long-copy ads had to tell a complete story. Telling the complete story in the Internet era isn't necessary because a key goal of print is to get readers to a landing page. Although both Panasonic's and IBM's ads ultimately direct their audiences to the Web, readers most likely got everything they needed from the print execution. Two ads don't make a trend, of course. Still, we are heartened to see two leading advertisers take us back to a time when copy was king.
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