Effective Headlines

We know that 50 per cent of our target are likely to read our headlines. But are they going to understand it?

The study went a step further by finding out how many of those who read the headlines actually knew what those headlines meant. The results were frightening.

Hereís a case in point:

In Victoria, when random breath testing was introduced, the traffic authority there ran an educational campaign under the slogan Donít Blow Your Licence.

In New South Wales, the campaign director thought that slogan was too cumbersome, and not snappy enough. He determined it should be simply Donít Blow It.

This became the headline on the NSW leaflet and posters. But when the comprehensibility of this was researched, it was found that while 100 per cent of those who read the headline Donít Blow Your Licence understood precisely what it meant, only four per cent of those who read Donít Blow It could explain what the headline attempted to convey.

Some of the respondents thought the leaflets were advocating civil disobedience by refusing to blow into the bag.

...So the answer is: use the headline to support the text, giving the eyes something to fix on, and make sure it carries the message..

...Headlines should contain sufficient of the message to be able to stand on their own—as they frequently have to do. Teasing or intriguing headlines, unless they contain the message, may fail.”

Type & Layout: Are You Communicating or Just Making Pretty Shapes
by Colin Wheildon

Colin Wheildon is Managing Editor of The Open Road, magazine of the National Roads and Motoristsí Association in New South Wales.

As a journalist-typographer, he has been a student of newspaper and magazine design for more than 30 years. Very early in his career he became aware that the rules of typography are largely ancient maxims, with very little empiricism to support them.

In recent years he became a disciple of Edmund Arnold, formerly a Professor of Mass Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, and the dean of American newspaper designers..

The law of Advertising

“ ...But what happens when your advertising says. 'Our product is better'? What does the reader, the viewer, or the listener to the advertisement really think when you make the claim that you produce a better product?

'That's what they all say.'

Pick up a copy of any magazine or newspaper and flip through the advertisements. Almost every ad makes some type of better product claim. That's what they all say.

But what happens when your advertising says, 'Our product is the leader'? What does the prospect think?

'It must be better'

The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding
by Al Ries and Laura Ries

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