Advertising has a tendency to be too complex. Often there are things that need to be conveyed that require a huge amount of planning. This can be found in the clothing an Art Director might choose to dress models in, it it may be in the environment or the number of words on a page or the use of cultural references. Decisions need to be made and directions taken.
Then all of those decisions need to be hidden behind an approach which has to look grab our attention.
To accomplish this we can learn a lot from social media and its emphasis on generating conversations.
Social media works well when it starts a conversation – “What would you say if I had a HUNDRED FREE TICKETS to the Justin Bieber concert?”
That’s a conversation starter. It attracts attention, shows the product and offers the benefits. All in one salivating sentence.
Good advertising does this too (social media didn’t invent the conversation, dammit). But all too often it succumbs to the impulse of saying too much.
Which generally risks leaving people OUT OF THE CONVERSATION entirely.
The Bieber example (sorry folks, I’m just doing everything I can to attract his fans to this site as part of a master plan to sell them Lou Reed albums) uses just enough complexity to hook but doesn’t get lost in giving you all the T&Cs, directions to the venue and knowledge of the fact that his music is also available to buy online, in-store and via osmosis.
It just starts a conversation. It doesn’t hold the entire conversation with itself.
Telling your audience too much risks undermining this.