Everybody likes a challenge. This ad for American Forests converted a slew of information about the economic benefits of planting more trees into a game of “find the hidden water treatment plant.”
For the guy who came up with the campaign, Baltimore Creative Director Dave Dobyski, it’s not the art or the copy that drives readership. “It’s the idea,” he says, “and it doesn’t matter whether it’s in print or online.” Variations on this ad appeared in a dozen municipalities around the country. “When we tested it in focus groups, response was off the charts. Lots of smiles around the table. And it’s not like the headline or the photograph – both of which are pretty mundane – made the difference. It was the ‘friction’ between the art and copy that drove the idea, which in the end, is all that matters.”
Finding the idea that drives readership (and more importantly, response and action by the reader) is what advertising agency folks call “creative leverage.” By leveraging a great idea, you can help you cut your other marketing expenditures to a minimum. It’s what advertising agencies hear all the time when they’re asked to create the next viral video.
What’s an exciting way for your organization to drive interest? With a lot of thought, and the idea of turning it into a game, you might find the response you’re looking for.