Short and Tweet – Effective Advertising in 140 Characters Or Less

As online communication becomes more and more brief (case in point, Twitter) you have to wonder how this will eventually affect offline (print) advertising. Twitter wouldn’t be the Industrial Development Painting first option that comes to mind for an industrial company’s advertising efforts, but let’s face it: the online world is affecting the way we communicate in all areas of life.
The exploding popularity of social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, etc. should be a signal to all marketers, including industrial B to B, that ads that convey a message quickly and concisely may have an advantage over ads that force readers to plow through too much text, puzzle over a picture that is unrelated to the headline, figure out complicated charts – or all of the above. I’ve been seeing more and more ads that are perfect examples of the “less is more” concept. Here’s a few:
A recent Honeywell ad promotes its OnWirelessA� universal wireless network which supports multiple industrial applications simultaneously. The headline “sky’s the limit” towers above an image of a young boy holding up a remote control as his model airplane soars above in the sky. The final line of the brief text says, “why stay chained to multiple networks, when there is one that will let you soar. OneWirelessA�.” There’s a phone number and their website address – no international physical addresses. Not only does the headline, image, and final statement all tie together nicely, the image of the young boy and his remote control airplane invokes nostalgia in many men, especially those with an engineering or more analytical type mind – obviously the target audience for this ad. What future engineer hasn’t tinkered with a toy like a remote control airplane at some point?
In its ad, The Vancouver Convention Centre quickly makes the point that gatherings at its facility are definitely not dull. The stage is set with an image of an empty, run-of-the-mill conference room complete with clock, water cooler and a set of mismatched chairs. Who hasn’t sat in one of those? The headline says it all: “The most interesting thing in a meeting room shouldn’t be the clock.” In the next breath, the convention center states, “Conventions should inspire,” and then invites readers to visit its Web site.
ITT’s ad for ANGEL services – Airborne Natural Gas Emission Lidar – uses powerful imagery and brief, compelling text to drive home the point that their technology saves millions of dollars for their customers. Superimposed over an ariel photo of a suburban community is (what appears to be) an infrared read-out strip, showing with absolute clarity what must be a significant pipeline leak. Above the read-out, the headline text reads: “Many of our clients don’t think they have leaks.’ Underneath the readout: ‘Until they become our clients.” The sub-head states their value proposition simply and eloquently: “Survey more miles. Find more leaks. Save more money.”
At a time when 140-character messages are becoming the limit of our focusing Hotel Industry Barriers To Entry ability, it really may be best to keep ads as short and sweet as a tweet.

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