Get the Message Across With the Power of Pictures . . .
Mark Twain once said, "Many a small thing has been made larger by the right kind of advertising." Witness the successful ad campaign for the now defunct VW bug, a marketing feat tantamount to convincing American women that what they already knew was only four inches is actually nine! But perhaps the salient point about the ad business, as Andy Warhol demonstrated so well, is simply "making money is art." Ever since Warhol redefined the meaning of mass media through his work, pictures have become the driving force behind the "right kind of advertising" in all its forms, that timeless, ubiquitous, metaphorical enlargement process Marshall McLuhan called "the greatest art form of the Twentieth century."
The point is that the concepts driving your next marketing campaign can have a decisive impact on sales. But whether the direction of the numbers goes up or down depends on how well the pictures and copy tell the story, how effectively they illustrate the product benefits and create an emotional response in the audience. Achieving the best results often means communicating the right information at precisely the right time. That's when a dramatic visual ad can become the crucial difference that really makes a difference.
One of the challenges of an effective promotional drive is to create a unique, powerful message about the client's products that sparks a new awareness in the mind of the customer. "All written advertising derives from an ancient myth about an Arabian prince," says Paul Silverman, Chief Creative Officer of Mullen, Denham & Mass. "In every piece of copy writing the consumer is Aladdin. The product is the genie in the lamp. "Silverman also points out that an ad writer really plays an advocates role in the client/customer relationship. The copywriter's job is to mount a cogent argument on the client's behalf that will persuade the customer to make a purchase, i.e., to buy the Genie.
Whether you're selling a Maserati or tickets to ride the local steam train, nothing beats a vivid picture for getting the message across about the benefits of the product. Every artist faces the same fundamental challenge--to define space in a way that makes it dynamic and alive. "Like an ancient Chinese scribe," says Paul Silverman, "use words as though they were frames of film in a camera and shoot fast."