Communicating clearly is a constant pain for publicists like us. If we do it well, nobody is going to say a thing. If we botch it up, however…
Just yesterday, our Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong posted on Facebook about the ongoing need for public officers to communicate more clearly to the public. He shared a link from The Irish Times which described how Apple’s “lost its way with words” in a recent employment ad using “gibberish”.
As a communicator who blogs in his free time, I write both for work and leisure. While my years of experience does make a difference to how elegantly I can put digital pen to paper, it can still be a bitch trying to craft amazing copy on a regular basis.
In the world of branding and advertising, developing a catchy slogan or tagline is probably considered the Holy Grail of the craft. They can be found in practically anything and everything, from shampoo to milk powder, movies to museums, cities to churches, and cars to condos to credit cards.
Almost any organisation or institution worth its corporate salt would purvey these one or two liners, in the hope of raising mindshare, deepening heartshare, improving top-of-mind recall, and of course growing brand equity.
If this outdoor advertisement doesn’t catch your eye, I suppose nothing else will. No prizes for guessing what product they are pushing for! What’s more interesting though is how a seemingly simple advertisement like this follows the age-old rule of AIDA. In advertising parlance, this means Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.
1) Attention – Obviously a headline like this written in bright red on a yellow background catches one’s attention. The sentence is also provocative and uses one of the most attention grabbing word in the world (not sex but) – love.
2) Interest – In this case, the same headline also helps to stir one’s interest by using the phrase of “Making Love” and “Doing It…” which piques one’s curiosity.
3) Desire – Instilling desire (in those who are already naturally inclined) is done by weaving in words like “Longer” and “Try” which are positive building words. In other words, you can have your cake and eat it too.
4) Action – This of course is where the rubber hits the road (no pun intended), and the call for action is conveyed through the word “SMS ‘Try’ 1800 711 711”. When one is outdoors without access to the internet or pen and paper, the fastest way to do so is through SMS. And the sensitivity of the subject is such that people will probably find it easier not to have to speak to a ‘live’ person about wanting to “do it longer”!