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Simplicity: the law of advertising

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First things first. How on earth do you get your message through? There’s so much rival noise already distracting your prospect in such a cluttered world.

How do you rise above the daily ruckus, not just the static coming from other advertisers, but the clamorous information explosion we’re all living in?

Nature understands that in a cluttered world, you must find a way to get yourself into clear space if you’re going to communicate successfully. The question is: how do you get your ad into clear space?

Un-clutter, if you want to be noticed in a jumbled world, be ruthlessly simple. Simplicity is the only foolproof advertising technique.

Indeed, the original lateral thinker, Edward De Bono, believes that simplicity is so precious in today’s business world that he has called for an Institute of simplicity to be established.

Advertising is communication, and if the right person does not really hear your ad, having heard, does not clearly understand what you are saying, then you’ve failed.

Put plainly, we’re living in the over-information age; this means the more information you put into your advertising, the less people will take out.

The Law of Simplicity exists to curb the Crime of Add-vertising. Remember, even though it’s called an “ad,” the most effective way to communicate a message is actually to subtract secondary information.

All great messages are profoundly simple: Don’t go; Just do it; I love you; You shall not kill.

The enduring philosophical tool, Ockham’s Razor, states that when there are two correct answers which solve a problem equally will, the more correct answer is the simpler one.

Work for a compression of a persuasive idea into a hard nut core – a profound simplicity; a haiku – like intensity.

Ah, but “how difficult it is to be simple,” as Van Gogh said. The art, of course, is not how short you make it.

But rather, how to make it short. For Marcello Serpa, the Brazilian advertising superstar and a former chairman of judges at Cannes, simplicity has never been an option for successful advertising.

It is much easier to be complex than to be simple. Simplicity is one of the most definite characteristics in advertising and may be one of the most forgotten.

This may be due to the fact that the “simple” has a dual personality: What is simple may have a genius synthesis or simply a primary obviousness.

To be simple require much more self-confidence than to be complex. The simple may be embarrassing.

After all, each of us wants to be seen as a person with refined thoughts. Complexity of rationale may be easily confused with intelligence by the incautious.

Meeting rooms around the world are packed with people who, to justify their salaries, issue super-complex opinions regarding the simplest of subjects. Complicating what is simple seems to be a good career stimulator.

Nevertheless, the simple is only sophisticated, only valued, when it is discovered before it becomes obvious.

Until it is revealed, is somewhere, close by, but very well disguised. It is necessary for someone to think about it first, to discover it first to that someone else could then say, “Wow, why didn’t I think of that before?”

Only after this phrase, repeated by many people, is a simple idea transformed into something obvious.

I imagine that it must have been something like this with the wheel, the paper clip, the headline “Think small” for VW or the picture of a piece of purple cut silk for the cigarette silk Cut.

Whoever discovers the obvious first becomes a genius, and those who only repeat it remain mediocre.

Being simple is also leaving an objective and trying to reach it with minimum resources, getting there by the shortest energy in this search, everything that does not contribute to simplicity, its purity, must be removed.

Being simple is communicating a new idea using the least possible number of elements, creating something so strong and powerful in its simplicity that it ends up generating a fabulous reaction in whoever is exposed to it, what is a simple moves person.

It is the revelation, almost sacred, of the obvious: “Gee, why didn’t I think of that before?”
Advertising is communication. “The result of advertising is measured not by what is said, but by what people understand.

A campaign starts to work when whatever is being sold – it may be an institutional message, a promotional price, or a new car – is noticed by those who are exposed to it.

But simply being aware that there is a new car in the market is not enough. It is necessary to notice what makes this car different from the others, why it is better.

But even this is not enough. It is necessary for this difference to be truly relevant for those who are looking for a car.

It’s simple really. You just have to answer two questions: “What am I going to say about this product?” And

“Is what I am going to say, truly what is going to motivate people?” The answers to these two questions are the most important part of the most important part of the creative process for any campaign, TV film or press ad.

Being simple is also being objective before creating.
A European country, such as England, for instance, is used to a level of complexity directly related to its capacity of observation of more elaborate messages.

In countries such as Brazil, young and still under development, this capacity is much smaller, being simple and objective is not an option; it is a necessity.

Here, in Brazil, the benefit of a product must be communicated in a clear, straightforward manner so that it may be wholly understood by the greatest number of people.
However, being simple is not enough. One must be simple and surprising.

Shank the spectator from the lethargy that a commercial break with clichés and artificial images, by smelling and offering itself to whoever reads it, dilating the pupils of its target audience, and thereby conveying its message with the greatest ease.

This is perhaps one of the keys to Brazilian advertising: simple without being simple-minded; objective, yet creating an impact at the same time; popular without being mediocre.

Advertisements such as Guarana Antrctica, with a minimum of elements, communicate the synthesis of a benefit: No calories, no belly.

Winning the print media Grand prix at the 1993 Cannes festival, the ad opened a path that has been followed by many Brazilian agencies since.

Another example of simplicity is the advertisement that announces the Botero explosion at the sao Paulo Modern Art Museum.

It defines, with humour, the most striking characteristic of this Colombian artist, who only portrays enormous and obese characters.

Sparing joints and articulation is one of the most important benefits of a tennis shoe for those who run every day.

The Mizuno band is acknowledged by the Brazilian Orthopedic Society as having the most efficient impact- absorption system in the market.

Therefore, imagining a tennis shoe between bones seems to be the simplest solution for the ad.

That is how it was with VW as well. Discovering a double check and using it to reinforce the German brand’s commitment to the total quality of its products seemed extremely obvious to us.

Keywords: advertising, ad, simplicity, communication, webcopyblog.com


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