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Topic: Advertising/PR

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Impact Of A Layout In A Print Advertisement

Posted by Anonymous on 250 Points
I have been trying to research on 'layout' or 'impact of a layout in an ad'. But none tells me what I am looking for. Currently, I am doing a critique on a magazine ad using the 5-Step methods as a guideline(Headline, Visual, Layout, Copy & Closing Message). I hope someone can give me a better view of how a layout can effect a print ad.


  • Posted on Author
    Hi kathysmithcasting & walterny
    I understand what you both are saying. However, my question was - what is the impact of a layout. My teacher told me briefly that layout means 'arrangement'. I understand that point. However, how do I have to do a critique of the layout?
    Think you can help?

    Thank a lot guys!

  • Posted by steven.alker on Accepted
    Well, doing a critique is a lot easier than having to do the advert – just ask any account executive who has some talentless corporate jobsworthy telling them that their efforts are rubbish!

    Stick to your 5 steps and for each one, analyse if it meets the points made by walterny and ask if it communicates a message, how well it gets it across and if it “Fits in” with the other 4 elements.

    Then for the whole ask whether the 5 elements link together to make a whole. If not, say why not. See if there are extraneous elements which you can discard and if those elements with impact actually work in the way you think they were intended to.

    Critique is criticism, so you might as well make it constructive. Suggest how you would have improved on the original. 50:50 hindsight is a wonderful gift for criticism, so why not really stick your neck out, find out which agency handled the advert and see if you can speak to the creative team which was involved. Direct and relevant comment from those who produced the advert would be very useful.

    Don’t forget though, if this is a piece of academic work and you seek the opinion of an author or creative director, you should cite them in a reference. Likewise if you decide to look for references on the advert or campaign from the advertising industry, mention where you got the information from.

    Best wishes

    Steve Alker
    Unimax Solutions
  • Posted on Accepted
    Layout is a major factor in getting the readers attention to your ads. Appropriate creative and the page in which the ad appears together with the size of the ad gives the maximum response to your ad.

    Regarding the layout, much of the style depends on the nature of the product. For example a printad of a computer has to contain lot of tech details hence more words than visual while an ad of a suiting will contain more pictures than words.
    The creative effectiveness lies in how well the ad is clutter busting or how it stands out from rest of the ads. The print ads of Heinz ketchup is considered classic because it conveys the brand values so effectively but in a simple way.
    To judge the ad, forget everything and trust your first reaction. is it wow or oh no!
  • Posted by darcy.moen on Accepted
    Here is what I've learned from many years of learning the hard way.

    A headline can affect results by up to 3,000 percent or more. People determine what they are going to read by reading headlines (watch yourself reading a newspaper and see if you don't do the same). If you have a headline that capture attention, you will have an ad that generates better results. For example, I had a headline that said: 'How layout impacts a print ad' would probably capture your attention better than 'how to write better ads'. Headlines that capture a markets attention lead to better readership because it draws them into reading the rest of your ad.

    Visuals: an ad must laid out so it is easy to read. One needs lots of white space in the ad so the words stand out and any images you have should relate t the copy, product and service being offered. White space can be critical if the rest of the page is text heavy. The 'break' of white space draws the eye and supports your copy. Images should be clear, clean, relative and appropriate. Images of a ladies always appeal to both sexes so try to include an image of a woman in any ad, or an image of a woman using your product or service. Its not sexist, its simply because I've tested and come to the conclusion that women compare themselves to other women and they will look at another lady, and men are always attracted to images of ladies.

    Copy can also make or break an ad. If your copy does not sell, its sunk. If your copy does not answer potential customers questions and educate them to the features and benefits of your offering, its toast.

    One must always test copy and headlines to determine what words and combinations create the most successful ad. I've improved ads results by thousands of a percent simply by adding one word to the headline, and ads have been improved by rewriting the copy.

    Everything contributes to the success of an ad. The closing and the PS are vital. If you don't ask for the order, you won't get one. The PS should sum up the offering or 'set' your most important point.

    You should be testing how changes effect results. Test different offers, closes, PS' Headlines and images. Record your results. Compile the 'mother of all ads' using your new found knowledge. All your successful changes should be compiled into your SUPER AD, but just to be sure, test it before releasing in to the complete market to see if it does out perform. If your testing and research has been complete, you should have an ad that kicks ROI.

    Hope this helps you.

    Darcy Moen
    Customer Loyalty Network
  • Posted on Accepted
    Most points are valid.

    Why not take a magazine (or a few different types) and choose 20 advertisements.

    - Take your 5 points and overlay them in each ad... see if you can see any patterns.

    - I think you probably will notice things that are common between them.

    My view is the same as Darcy. Our minds naturally are tuned to do the same thing as if you're reading from the top left and down to the bottom right.
    Advertising is no different in the contect that most advertising will start with a begining (headline/ offer) then give you more information (visual/ copy/ message) then finish with a closing message (call to action). The end!)

    The type of advertising will change which emphasis is placed on each of your five areas.

    Brand related advertising will show an emphasis on image and copy to mke sure people warm to the brand.

    Direct response advertising (sales generation/ sign up) will put the emphasis on the headline and the call to action. This type of advertising has less emphasis on the visual elements and more on the offer.

    I agree with harish it depends on the product... ut it also must be relevant to the customer targeted by the CUSTOMER and not by your marketing department!! I didn't like some of the advertising we produced - but it proved successful with our customers.

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