What is Audible.com Selling?

For the most part, I like this ad from Audible.com. It’s well-designed, the copy does a reasonably good job explaining the product, and there’s an offer for a free product.

The headline:

Without the Dust.

The problem is that after reading the headline and looking at the image, I thought it was an ad for electronic books, the kind you read on a reader. I had to read the copy to understand that this is an ad for audiobooks.

If your ad gives the reader the impression that it’s for something other than what you’re selling, you have a problem.

Imagine an ad with the headline that says: Good Eatin’. The photo shows a kid eating a big juicy hamburger in a fast food restaurant. Naturally, you’re going to think that you’re looking at an ad for a burger joint. The copy says:

Good eatin’ can be messy. New Moisty-Wipes cleans kids’ hands better than the leading brand. And they have a pleasing scent that kids love. Moms love them, too.

Nothing in the ad prepared you for the fact that it’s for moist wipes. You had to shift gear and reframe the ad’s message in your mind (if you bothered reading the copy at all). Once you made the shift, it was too late; the advertiser lost you.

There’s also the matter of the device shown in the ad. It looks like an iPhone. Are Audible’s audiobooks only for iPhone users?

I searched the company’s web site to find out. I had to dig a bit but eventually found that audio can be listened to on hundreds of AudibleReady devices, including the Apple iPod, Creative Zen, SanDisk Sansa and several popular GPS devices.

Why not say that in the ad? Then say: To check if your device is compatible, visit our web page at… This gives readers an additional incentiveto visit the site. Once the reader has gone to the site to check on their device (after all, they’ve been offered a free audiobook), Audible can focus on signing them up right there on the spot.

Makes sense to me.


One response to “What is Audible.com Selling?

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