"Nobody reads ads. People read what's interesting. Sometimes it's an ad." Famed advertising copywriter Howard Gossage's timeless words serve as a guiding reminder to those of us who create messages, and to clients who pay agencies to shape them.
Advertising is interruption. We are the distraction between pages of Entertainment Weekly, the banner ad above the compelling online news story, the commercial before the wrap-up on CSI. No one seeks our messaging, but we must find interested recipients nonetheless.
The key is in being meaningful and relevant, no matter where your message runs. Too often, advertisers respond with the wrong solutions: Be louder. Get attention no matter what it takes or costs. But these solutions only build consumer resentment and resistance.
When in doubt, remember Gossage: Stand for something. Be clear.
But most of all, be interesting.