Whether it’s a rack card or magazine ad, the design of that limited, and often expensive, “space” is critical. And “space” (I’m referring to the part of your ad that is blank) is an integral part of good design. Think of it this way, “Your unique message needs ‘space’ to breath and live” amongst all those other ads. Space makes typography and graphics come to life, makes images pop, and frames your message in a distinctive way. With most print advertising, less really is more, and since advertising “space” is what you are paying for, it’s important to make the most of it!


There are a few things to consider when formulating an advertising strategy for your upcoming event or product launch. Should it be informational, or appealing? You might say, “Shouldn’t it be both?” Absolutely. But how is that achieved, and in what measure? If we look at these two types of approaches maybe it will help clarify the differences, as well as, the weaknesses and strengths.


Let’s explore informational types of media first. Some examples of “informational” media might be the current weather conditions on your smart phone, an obituary, a magazine article, or a newsletter post. These items are filled with information, but they require “no further action.” What does that mean? It means that the “information” the reader hoped to glean from reading these was realized. The weather blurb told you it is 57 degrees, with a chance of rain. The obit explained who died, how old they were and so on. Most likely you learned something new from the magazine article you read. No further action required. You could pursue more details about these things, but it isn’t necessary. There is nothing else to be done.

But there is something extremely important to realize about “informational” media: The consumer “sought out” this information. The consumer wanted to know what the temperature was, so they sought it out. Someone else bypassed article after article in the newspaper and went directly to the obit page to see if they knew anyone who had died, and so on. In each case, the consumer “sought out” the information that most interested them, bypassing anything that was not relevant to their interest.

So why is this important? Because no one will be seeking out Your Ads that talk about Your services! And if they are not seeking out your ad, they most likely won’t read it, because they won’t even notice it! Have you ever picked up a newspaper and read it from front to back? Most likely not. You focused on content that interested you.


That’s where Appeal comes in. So what does that mean? Well, if someone is “not seeking” out your message, then you must try to get their attention, take your message to them. Maybe it is in the form of a compelling image. For instance, maybe you sell carabiners and you advertise in a Rock Climbing magazine, so your ad displays a climber on Mosaic Wall in Joshua Tree National Park. Maybe the climber in your photo is using your carabiner, but the focus of the ad is “not” your product, but instead, this incredible climbing spot in California! That image will “connect” with your reader’s interest. Yes, all climbers use carabiners, but if you want to get a climbers attention, you may be better off appealing to his or her passion and sense of “adventure,” than her possible need for new carabiners.

And even with “informational” types of media, most magazines and newspapers still use the power of Appeal. On the front page is a phenomenal photo of a dog swimming from a flooded car during a hurricane, or a huge headline in bold type: Vote Recount Reveals Fraud. Those are the “hooks” that may leave a reader wanting more. And that should be the goal of your ads.

These are just a few concepts to think about when deciding upon an effective ad campaign strategy. If you would like to discuss further, please contact me. I would love to hear from you.

To learn more about my design process and what you can expect, please check out this post, Design Strategy Planning.