The Week: Best of the blogs - Time for common sense?

One of the most disturbing advertisements of the last few months is the single page ad for the iPhone. "Solving life's little problems one app at a time."

Frankly this ad contravenes all the guidelines for contemporary press advertising. It contains a large shot of the product, carries a headline which discloses a consumer benefit and, worst of all, it contains a series of little captions wherein a number of words are arranged in some grammatical order to convey to the reader useful information about what the product does.

I hope this sort of thing doesn't get out of hand. If you're not careful, you'll have readers going to the shops in their droves and exchanging their money for iPhones.

Why is this sensible kind of advertising so rare? One problem may be that the same creative brief is often written for print as for TV. Another may be that the "brevity is always best" assumption that has become a rule-of-thumb in poster ads has by now completely infected press.

But are we trying too hard to make press ads cool? Perhaps the best thing you can do when writing a good press ad is to abandon any attempt at being even remotely hip. Put on a suit and tie. Read the Daily Mail. Go foxhunting. Visit Croydon. Push pineapple. Shake the tree. Push pineapple. Grind coffee. To the left, to the right, jump up and down and to the knees. Come and dance every night, sing with a hula melody. But do not consider going to Magma.


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