Sunday, November 29, 2009

Advertising copy Pt. 2

Here are two that we used in print that I think hold up well.

The college typically employs Dale Peterson for most of its photography and he is an absolute blast to work with. He's a fun guy to start, but he is such a gracious photographer and willing to try just about any idea.

Anyway ... I was there when Dale shot the photo for this ad and I don't remember exactly why, but I was walking back to my office from the glassworking studio. I wasn't 10 feet from the door of the studio when the copy came to me.

From the outset of my time on the job, I wanted the college media messages to carry more swagger. Instead of "I go to to Chemeketa Comm ... (mumble, mumble)," I wanted people to say "I go to Chemeketa COMMUNITY COLLEGE." There are so many reasons for pride in that school and I wanted our advertising, especially, to reflect it. This was the closest I was able to get to that original vision.

The second one is a good example of how a great designer can make otherwise ordinary copy sing. The college's graphic designer and I had and continue to have a great friendship. Within the first couple of months, we'd developed such a great rapport that it truly felt like everything was a collaboration. Each of us having such high expectations of the other made both parts better.

We needed an ad highlighting the opportunity to take core classes during the summer and I cribbed the "Stay on Target" line from the trench run scene in "Star Wars" to get me started. I handed over the copy to Terri and then she called me to ask what photo to use with it.


Here's the problem with the copy: Taken alone, it would be easy to miss the intended message. Stay on what target? I knew who my intended audience was - students at home for the summer who didn't want to spend any more time than they had to in college. But I hadn't made that clear. It wasn't until I heard myself say that exact same thing to Terri that I realized what I had missed. It needed to have an image associated with graduation.

Once we made that connection, she whipped out the ad above and it's one of the best we put out into the ether.

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