The image here of painting water over parched earth is a good one. The problem is that the name of the product is lost because the box of copy is too small. Since the razor doesn’t much look like a razor, we don’t know it’s a razor. Because the name of the product on the razor isn’t easy to see or read, we’re left with a puzzling ad with a good message but no product.
This pinpoints a problem with many current print ads. Imagine that you’re having a conversation with one of your friends. In the middle of debating the merits of Obama vs. McCain, she looks at you and says: “Meatballs.”
You look at her quizzically. “Meatballs?”
“Yes,” she says. “I have to go to the supermarket and buy some ground beef to make meatballs because I wanted to try a new recipe I just read. It’s meatballs and macaroni with tomatoes and basil. It’s supposed to be quick and easy.”
When your friend said meatballs, she knew exactly what she was talking about because the rest of the information was in her mind. She assumed you’d know what she was talking about, even though it didn’t make a bit of sense to you.
Advertisers do this as as matter of course. In the above ad, Schick knows their razors are called Intuition, so when some marketing wonk at Schick has to approve this ad, the word Intuition screams off the page. The people who created the ad have seen and heard the word so many times that when they look at the ad, it’s like a giant billboard with the word Intuition emblazoned across it.
They’re thinking like an advertiser, not like a consumer.