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idea of creating a call for the advertised article from the various dealers throughout the territory covered.
Local advertising is conducted through the newspapers, assisted by street-car and billboard advertisements, and often supplemented by the distribution of circulars or the mailing of letters to buyers in a limited territory.
Mail order advertising originally was conducted in a class of publications known as "mail-order monthlies,” as those published in Augusta, Maine,-papers, designated to circulate in the rural districts, cheaply compiled and printed, and sold at a low subscription price.. These papers still have a large circulation and are used for mail-order advertising; but practically all the high-class publications, particularly those of a general nature, carry a large percentage of ads now classed as mail-order advertising.
Kinds of Ads.-Advertisements may have numerous. classifications as to form, from the announcement ad affected by many clothiers, to the blanket ad of the department stores. A common and increasing class of ads may be embraced in the term "freak ads." Nearly every manufacturer and promoter puts a freak ad on the market at one time or the other, some being unqualified successes. The present fashion in this class of ads is to leave the reader in doubt as to part of the wording, which is afterwards supplied. A familiar ad of this class was the one asking "What did the Woggle-bug say?" displayed in the newspapers and on billboards, and after a week's time being merged into a newspaper and book advertisement.
Object of an Ad.-The real object of all advertising is to sell. No matter what other virtues an ad may have, if it does not sell goods-sell enough to make it profitable—it is a failure. Attention attracted is of value, but attention to the point of buying is the only thing that counts.
Results.—The results of mail order advertising may be shown by keying ads, there being several methods. Some firms use, “Dept. A” for one periodical, “Dept. B" for another, and so on. Others change the firm name, or a portion of it, as "Chas. A. Ransom," "Chas. B. Ransom,” etc. A common key is a variation of the street number, building number, building name, etc. Ads occupying a page and sometimes a smaller space -often bear a tag to be filled out and forwarded. These bear a key-word or number and are an exact index to the pulling power of a medium. Many concerns request inquirers to ask for a special folder, booklet or catalog and judge of the value of a medium by the replies containing that particular request.
To judge exactly of the value of general or local advertising is not an easy matter. A method to be recommended is as follows: Take two equally good values-give them the same space in each of the daily papers. Have both ads written up in the same veinhave both illustrated with the article advertised, and take very good care that both things advertised are of equal value. Then tabulate the results. Later on in the week advertise the same article in the two dailies, only transpose the ads. Tabulate the results and compare. Do the same with the weekly papers, and so determine the relative values of the different mediums.
Wording.-To write a good ad, say in brief what you have to sell and why people should buy it. Use concise wording, the language of the common people; let the words be short. Short words economize space, are easily understood and enforce and drive home the truths the writer wishes to convey.
Force should be combined with two other qualities, grace and versatility. The ad stands in the position of a salesman and should present the subject forcefully, easily, and in a manner peculiar to itself. In considering the choice of words, remember the methods used by the good salesman or the good business man and apply them.
Prices.-In general advertising, prices are of prime importance; in retail advertising, they are absolutely essential. The object of an advertisement being to sell goods, the advertisement must answer those questions liable to come into the mind of the reader, and the question of price is always an important one. First, give the introduction, so worded as to attract the attention, next the talk concerning the goods-concise and inter
esting-and finally give the price in unmistakable terms. This does not apply to very high-priced goods, or goods intended only for exclusive trade. Such goods generally sell regardless of exact price.
Display.-An advertisement must be different and look different than other ads if it is to be fully effective. This is accomplished by a different display. By display is meant the arrangement of the type used so as to give prominence to certain parts of an ad. It is really che contrast between the dark and the light portions. When originating a poster or other work in which various colors may be used, contrast may be brought out by the use of different colors for different parts, as a catch-line in red and the body in dark blue. But the adwriter for newspaper work must limit himself to blacks and whites, and intermediate grays—and so distribute them as to produce an effective result.
Preparation of Advertising Copy.-The rough draft of an ad is usually laid out about three times larger than it is to appear in print. It is always well to make a penciled lay-out in the rough, conveying the general effect the ad is to have when complete. The illustration on page 140 shows a rough draft, the prelimi. nary idea-the details being worked out later. The general scheme of this blocking out would be: First, heavy border separating the ad from the gray of the page, framing it away from adjoining matter; second, the heavy mass effect of the headline and footline; third, the gray of the body. To avoid an even effect and give a distinctive finish to the balance, the headline and body are not margined the same. There is plenty of white space to balance the heavy blacks of the border and head, and footlines.
Importance of the Rough Draft.--Even the most experienced advertising man will find the rough sketch of the utmost importance in giving him the idea of what is to follow. If this sketch is correctly laid out and balanced, the writing of the advertisement becomes a very simple matter, as it is easy to take up the ad, line by line and part by part, completing each in logical order so as to evolve a harmonious and effective whole.
Second Rough Draft.-In working out the details of
an ad the writer takes his first sketch, and duplicating the border on another sheet, fills in the display head and catch-lines in approximately the same size as the type to be used. This may be done roughly and if occasion demands, in rapid sketchy strokes, so as to be quickly completed. Accuracy of lettering or fineness of effect need not be especially sought after, as long as the lettering and writing is legible and the spelling, capitalization, and punctuation accurately and clearly indicated. Unimportant errors will be seen and corrected, either by the compositor in setting or the proofreader in reading the ad.
. In the lettered rough draft shown on page 142, representing the second stage in the writing of a railroad ad, the first three lines constituting the main catchline are first drawn. The second catch-line, "Southwestern R. R.,” will usually be a "stock" catch-line, that is a line used as a sort of trade mark, and varying only in size-never in lettering-on all the stationery and advertising matter of the road. If this is the case, it simplifies the writing that much, as it has only to be indicated and the cut supplied, besides it aids the writer in knowing how the display will look. The display type is lettered in, the body is proportioned as desired, the words are given plenty of room on the page and the ad is ready for the compositor.
Indicating Types to Be Used.-Whether or not to indicate the style of type and kind of border to be used depends upon circumstances. Usually—and particularly when indicated as in the lettered-in draft just mentioned -it is best to trust to the judgment of the compositor. Type-setters doing the composition on ads should be, and in the best offices are, men possessing considerable practical artistic ability as well as mechanical dexterity and have little or no need of any other informa. tion than shown by copy correctly blocked out. When copy is sent to an office where a firm has not done business or when an ad embodying any peculiar fea. tures is required, border and types might well be indi. cated. This is done by writing the name and size on the margin opposite the matter to be so set, and connecting the two by a line, as in proof-reading.