My background and experience mostly deal with design and art. Incorporating structured copy and related theories was a set of skills I had to build up and fast. When I went about designing the testimonial ads, I had to combine these new concepts with my preexisting design skills. Before starting on the ads, I had to narrow down a target audience. International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) serves mostly young people twenty-five and younger and they wish to get this group more involved since the decisions will impact them the greatest. When narrowing the target audience, I decided to focus on psychographics because IPPF’s strengths came from ideals and feelings. This would mean the profiles would have to be somewhat flexible and Felton (2013) states that psychographics allows for changing definitions in society (p. 34). Since I would not be able to guarantee a person, I aimed for a personality. In the end, I decided to target youth leaders that wished to make changes in their community. These leaders would have the greatest range of influence and normally they have disposable income which allows them to make donations more often. The two personas I created where a principal who was involved in many community outreach programs and a YMCA employee who enjoyed working with teens and being a mentor (See Figure A). These would be the type of people IPPF would want to target.
Figure A: Target Audience Profiles
When creating initial thumbnails (see Figure B) for the testimonial ads I tried to combine Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs with Felton’s concepts for speakers. The type of needs that would most appeal to the target audience were nurturance, succorance, security, stimulation, and understanding. By combining these needs into the ads, I could create a ladder that would elevate the message. Felton (2013) states that consumers do not look “for a product that will do the least for them but for one that will do the most” (p. 25). The audience will not have tons of money to spend on donations so they will look to donate to charities that can make the biggest impact for their dollar. By picking who is speaking like an employee versus an extreme user will change how these needs are applied. The speaker also controls the perspective which changes the story. A chief from a village will have slightly different priorities than say a chalkboard. The chief will be concerned about the health and future of their people. The chalkboard would want to be used again. As Smallish (2014) states in his course the goal “is reaching the consumer by connecting with their needs or touching their emotions”. By picking the story that is being told, I could control what emotions and needs I was aiming for. In my design for the chalkboard ad I was targeting Nora’s interest as an educator and her desire to help a student better themselves. In Stevie’s case, I was targeting his belief that a free, happy life is a right and shouldn’t be taken away because they have lost access to services that let them control their lives.
Figure B: Thumbnail Sketches
When I moved onto the three initial comps (See Figure C) I had to create designs that built onto the ideas I had developed in the thumbnails. I focused on informing the audience on how the Global Gag Rule (GGR) had negatively impacted communities assisted by IPPF and how they could help. I tried to address the audience directly in an effort to give them a sense of involvement and responsibility. Lurie (2014) states that approaches like these, work on average twenty-five to thirty percent better.
After receiving feedback, the greatest change I had to make was in regard to my copy. It was too long. I focused too much on supplying the audience with as much information as possible that I forgot the purpose of a print ad. A quotation from Felton (2013) was given where he said, “write your copy to the best of your ability-and then cut it in half” (p. 120). That is what I did. I took out as much information as I could without losing the main appeal. Since I was cutting a lot of information, I added a QR code to add ease to taking the audience to the site. By making it as simple as clicking a couple buttons audiences are more likely to go to the site and find all the information I had to cut. This would then lead to them making a donation or volunteering. I also added a frame to the ads made from a modified version of the IPPF Logo (See Figure C) so that audiences could glance at an ad and know straight off that it was an IPPF ad.
Figure C: Three Initial Comps
Three takeaways I gained from this course were basic copywriting, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and using grid layouts. Before this course my understanding of writing copy was shaky. By learning basic rules and structures I could combine them with my knowledge of consumer psychology. I now know how to make an impact in a shorter message. Learning about Maslow’s Hierarchy is going to have the biggest impact because this can be transferred into design as well. By knowing what needs I want to address and understanding that elevating the needs can be more effective, I can apply this to what imagery I use. This course also taught me a technique that leads me away from color blocking. Color blocking is a technique in design that I often use because it allows for contrast and organization. On my feedback for the testimonials I was suggested to look at the article Grid-Based Layouts 101 by James George. As George (2013) states in the article, using this grid method helps “divide content into discrete, manageable modules”. I found this method allowed for me to organize my content while giving me a flexible template that lets me create more varied designs.
Felton, G. (2013). Advertising: Concept and copy. New York: Norton & Company.
George, J. (2013, January 15). Making Great Designs Using Grids – DesignFestival. Retrieved from https://www.sitepoint.com/grid-based-layouts-101/
IPPF. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ippf.org/
Lurie, I. (2014, May 30). Learning to Write Marketing Copy. Lecture. Retrieved from https://www.lynda.com/Business-Online-Marketing-tutorials/Writing-Marketing-Copy/149250-2.html?srchtrk=index%3a1linktypeid%3a2q%3aWriting+Marketing+Copy+with+Ian+Luriepage%3a1s%3arelevancesa%3atrueproducttypeid%3a2
Smallish, C. (2014, May 27). Designing a Print Ad. Lecture. Retrieved from https://www.lynda.com/Design-Page-Layout-tutorials/Welcome/155264/174679-4.html?org=fullsailold.edu