Usually when a small company contracts to do an ad, the media company's art department helps with the creation of the ad. They have the in-house expertise that most small companies don't. The Grey Lodge, like many companies, started off very bare bones. I was president, janitor, and most jobs in between. I don't clean the bathrooms anymore, and am getting used to delegating things. We've been doing small print ads for years now. Sometimes I submit an ad ready to go. Sometimes it's a back and forth. I give clear direction and they do good work. This being big league stuff, I felt I should go with the professionals.
So I sent their art department some (mixed-case) text with our basic messages and some photos I had been working on for release 2010 of greylodge.com. I sent the text with caveat that while those were what we mostly had to say, it probably should be pared down for the ad. I offered to do a first version for them to clean up professionally. They said what I sent already would be sufficient. What they sent back was this:
I was having a rare bad morning last Friday and was in a mood when I got the email. I'm no advertising expert, but like all people today, I have been exposed to advertising since I was born. Thinking people from their lifelong experience know what advertising impacts them and what doesn't. I'll be blunt and say that ad is shit.
- The green logo on a green background, WTF?
- All capital letters? It's ugly, and while technically readable is so jumbled, nobody would want to bother to read it. Nobody has to read your ad, you need to make it appealing so they want to. We are so overexposed to advertising, we ignore as much of it as possible. That text is definitely stuff I would ignore. Even if it interested me, it looks like a chore to read.
- It's not even clear who the ad is for, "Grey Lodge" only being in the logo.
- The largest thing is the phone number. We're a bar and restaurant; we don't really want people to telephone us. We don't have operators standing by, we have bartenders who are hopefully busy with actual paying in-person customers. We do however want people to go to our Website, which packed with info, and which people can look over at their leisure. Of all the things they choose to highlight, they pick our phone number?
I was given some great ideas from friends. For the most part, they and I were on the same page. There are many good ideas that I couldn't use. I believe strongly that with ads, less is more. I think this ad finds a balance between less and more.