This well-designed ad for The Dyson Ball vacuum uses a cutaway-view illustration.
If you read this blog regularly, you know that I believe that the image and the headline should be all the reader needs to understand the ad. In this case, an image of something electronic, combined with the headline, This ball isn’t just for turning, tells the reader exactly nothing.
Perhaps the reader is expected to see the name Dyson, remember the TV commercials, and make the connection in order to understand the ad. If that’s the case, then it violates another one of my rules, namely that an ad shouldn’t rely on a TV commercial in order to be understandable. The reason should be obvious—the reader may have not seen the commercial, and if she has, she may not remember it.
In addition, the copy in this ad is somewhat technical. Advertisers shouldn’t assume that the reader has a technical background or will even care enough about their product to spend the effort to figure out what they’re trying to say. If the point of this ad is that the Dyson vacuum is small, then say it quickly and concisely. That’s the only way to get the message out.
By Marc Librescu