SAMPLES AND EXCEPTS FROM OUR WORK
Tony Robbins Radio Ad:
“Attention business owners, this is Tony Robbins. I’ve spent the last 3 decades helping companies create serious business breakthroughs and I want to help you like never before.”
The word “attention” can be interpreted as a forceful command or possibly a threat. Three decades takes longer for the brain to process than 30 years, and 30 sounds much larger than 3. The word “serious” conveys imminent danger, it may also cause the listener to infer than their current business skills should not be taken seriously. “I want to help you like never before” communicates that Tony did not help people enough previously or that he was holding out on us.
“Hello business owners, this is Tony Robins. For 30 years I’ve helped companies create powerful business breakthroughs. And I want to show you how to implement my successful sales growth strategies.”
City of Hope Hospital Radio Ad:
“My cancer was so advanced and aggressive my doctors had to come up with a treatment plan tailored just for me.”
The phrase “my cancer” is alarming and too personal and should be replaced with “the cancer.” This also reduces the redundancy of saying “my” twice in the same sentence. The addition of the word “that” between the words “aggressive” and “my” would be improper in written English but is a helpful transition in spoken English. The phrase “had to” makes it sound as if the doctors were forced to do something against their will. The phrase “came up with” connotes that the doctors hastily cooked up a temporary solution. “Tailored just for me” sounds inauthentic, communicates that the doctors had no existing plan, and that it would be a first-time application.
“The cancer was so advanced and aggressive that my doctors developed a treatment plan specific to me.”
Neutrogena Print Ad #1:
Original Ad and Mapping:
“Pores… you’ll be happy when they shrink in the wash” can be made stronger if it is made three lines and the word “your” is added making it more personal and forcing the consumer’s unconscious to generate mental imagery of their own pores. “And that’s a perfect fit” is a line that is better applied to clothing. It does refer back to “shrinking in the wash” in a clever way. The cleverness may not be noticed though and the line does not pose a call for action. An equally related line, with a call to action might be something like: “Try this on for size.”
Salience mapping indicates that the blue dots above the product draw attention away from the product. This can be managed by reducing their contrast. Using a “radial gradient tool” to lighten the color of the dots surrounding the product ameliorates this and also underscores the message that pores shrink in size and also diminish in darkness. Doing this makes the ad more dynamic, and highlights the idea that the product erases these blue dots on contact. As shown in the mock-up below this also solves the salience problem mentioned above.
Suggested Ad and Remapping:
Neutrogena Print Ad #2:
Original Ad and Suggested Ad
The caption says: “Remove 99.3% of your most stubborn makeup…” This is strong but consider changing the word “remove” with “removes.” “Remove” suggests to the reader that they are responsible for doing the removing, and perhaps if they do not use the product correctly it will not work. “Removes,” on the other hand, suggests that the product does the removing, which is probably the intended denotation.
The towelette in the top left corner has very low visibility. The viewer will waste valuable processing time trying to determine that they are looking at a square-shaped towelette folded in half to make a triangle. This is largely because it is difficult to see the paired corners at the top left of the image. As illustrated in the example below we graphically modified the towelette so that it is darker and not “whited-out.” This way it is clear to low-level cognitive processes that the towelette is a whole, tangible object and conscious systems don’t have to struggle to make sense of the composition, wasting valuable viewing time. The side-by-side comparison shows that the adjustment in contrast leads to more visibility along the periphery of the towelette along with increased saliency of the towelette pouch as well.
Neutrogena Print Ad #3:
Original Ad and Mapping:
Heat mapping demonstrates that this ad has a good saliency profile. Regions of high salience include the Neutrogena logo on the product, the product name, and the central portion of the banner headline. Unfortunately, the yellow banner with the word “new” shows high salience despite the fact that the alternate product is not meant to be the intended focal point. We recommend coloring this yellow banner blue, and using the yellow elsewhere. The comparisons below show that changing the yellow color to a blue reduces the saliency of the banner. Also, incorporating yellow into the graph, helps the graph to become more salient as illustrated below.
We recommend changing the word “gentle” to “gentler.” Gentler suggests that this product may be more gentle than competitive products. We also recommend removing the word “finally.” Finally has negative connotations. The line could almost be interpreted as a newspaper headline reporting on an unfortunate delay in cleanser manufacturing. Some consumers that read the ad will automatically entertain the thought that Neutrogena has been holding out, or has taken too long to create a better cleanser. Replacing “finally” with “get” or “want” could remove this negative association and will also create a call to action. The line could be: “Want a better clean from a gentler cleanser?” or “Get a better clean from a gentler cleanser!”
We recommend saying “away completely” instead of “completely away.” Using the word completely first will cause the verbal system to hesitate because it does not convey the ultimate message soon enough. An advertiser wants to convey the message then modify it, not to modify the message before being conveyed. This is important because human minds are limited capacity processors that are likely to lose elements of a long message before they can put them all together.
The words “face,” “facial cleanser,” and “body wash” do not appear in this ad. Because of this, the reader may not clearly understand how he or she is supposed to use the cleanser. The ad should communicate to the consumer how they can picture themselves using it.
Suggested Ad and Remapping: