Monday, 2 September 2013

First impressions on the commute

On my train into work I saw this ad


I wonder what anyone's first reaction to this ad would be? I'll tell you mine.

The copy and the picture do not go together. If you'd shown me sunshine, then I might think Villa Plus. If I'm looking at this ad, then I do not think Villa Plus. The poor woman is being pelted with balls like she is in some kind of Freudian nightmare, whilst some gigantic luminous satsuma is heading her way. When you read the small print, (if you get that far), you see that the villa's include table tennis. OH RIGHT! The woman actually has SO much opportunity to play table tennis that she can't even handle it and needs, not one, but two paddles to fight off the unlimited supply of balls. This turns the idea of playing table tennis at Villa Plus into a terrifying prospect.

My point of this blog post is that first impressions count. I had to read that ad fully to be able to understand it, and I only read it fully because it has been on my train every morning for the last 3 weeks and I cannot escape it.  If I had seen it in passing, then I 100% would not know it was even about holiday villas, let alone who's ad it was.

It's the advertiser's responsibility to grab my attention, relate to me, interest me, fulfil me, entertain me and make me do whatever it is telling me to do, all in the first 3 seconds of viewing. 
It's a hard job but I at least appreciate those who try.

People don't just sit on the train staring at the ads, forced to read. We have mobiles, iPod, kindles... you'll be lucky if we even look up from our primitive position to pay you attention.


Ads on the commute should be short, sharp and to the point. Make it easy for us to engage! Don't make it more complicated than it needs to be. Be bright, be brief, be gone. 
But be memorable.