How important are headlines? In news, they are super important, especially to people like me who scan rather than read the newspaper. A headline tells you the bare essence of the story, and it either catches your attention or it doesn’t. It is much the same in public relations except PR folk get a chance to have a really long headline and perhaps even add a subheadline or two. You sometimes get extra points for clever.
In advertising…well…I am not sure. Design, graphics, placement and offer make up 99% of an ad. Strong creative headlines can cause interest. But simple headlines, like “We are having a sale” can communicate easily and effectively without trying too hard to be clever. That said, I love headlines that are a play on words or use words elegantly.
One of my favorite types of ads are the ones were the headline tells you one thing, and the graphics tell a different story. Currently here in Washington there is an ad you can see on the Metro for Washington Sports Club. The headline says: “This January, help is on the way.” The graphic shows an overweight man, sitting on a couch, watching tv and drinking a soda, while walking his dog on a treadmill. Funny as hell. And makes you look at it and just shake your head. Love it!
Any favorite headlines or ads?
PS–Here’s a look at the graphic from the ad I quote above: http://www.mysportsclubs.com/regions/WSC.htm