When compromise is bad

1 Dec

Agencies tend to want a concept behind an ad – a big idea. Clients often want their product and offer to be the focus. The balance between the two can be tricky. Sometimes, a compromise works – an unexpected headline or image to support the idea, but a big, bold block of copy to explain the product or offer.

Sometimes it doesn’t.

This is the cover of a Panago coupon book. I’m guessing there was an idea for this cover once. It’s there in the starburst – “Be free. Go play. Order Panago!” The idea being – ordering pizza lets you have more time to enjoy your day. Maybe the original picture was of a family enjoying pizza on a blanket in a park.

Then someone came along and made the offers and product the focus. I’m not disagreeing with that – after all, it is the cover of a coupon book. What I don’t like is that little bits of the idea remain – the starburst copy (which was likely the original headline) and the line “It’s going to be a good day!” Now there’s three headlines laid out as separate elements on the cover, and I’m left confused.

It reminds me of the old joke: What’s worse than finding a worm in your apple? Finding half a worm. I think, more often than not, an ad should either be concept-driven or offer-driven. Half an idea isn’t a great thing for a consumer to bite into.


2 Responses to “When compromise is bad”

  1. dianajwalter December 1, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    I agree with you Shane and this seems to have been an ongoing issue in advertising especially when trying to make all company directors happy.

    It is important to keep in mind the basics of marketing and strategy – stick to one thing and do it well!

    If you have multiple messaging options at least separate them and test them for effectiveness. Online ads, social media and even direct mail and coupons can help make an educated decision on which offer will best resonate wit the consumer. The Panago coupon will offer little learning on whether soft messaging or discounts are more effective.

  2. variedthinking December 3, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    More fast food that is garbage, but thankfully I can’t eat this !@#$%^ since I’m lactose intolerant.

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