Publix Opinion (Feb 21, 1930)

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ANALYSIS BASIS CORRECT CHOICE OF APPEAL | PUBLIX OPINION, WEEK OF FEBRUA ~ ESSENTIAL FOR SELLING ADS From advertising specialists, the men engaged in preparing great national campaigns for cigarettes, food products with national distribution, automobiles, and a host of other products, comes word that the copy writer is becoming less and less important in the ad vertising scheme of things. “Today,” one advertising agency executive was reported as saying, “our problems are those of analysis, selling angles, mer chandising, distribution and research. Our greatest powers must be devoted to the preparatory steps long before we put a word on paper. And when we have thoroughly studied our product, the competitive situation, and our prospects, the finished ad is evolved ‘automatically. preliminary surveys.” But to the old type of showman who found inspiration for his ads in an imagination that was flamboyant, dramatic and given to superlatives, such a concept is one hard to understand. The theatre manager is essentially a showman and a business man, not a writer. There is no reason, however, why the showman cannot adopt the basic principles used by advertising specialists, and apply them to his business with necessary modifications. It is the purpose of this article to do just that. Ad Based on Analysis | Our first principle, then, is that copy—and by copy we mean the entire concept of the ad, illustrations, wording, headlines, etc.,— that copy is the result of a very thoughtful analysis. What should the showman analyze? First, his product. There are perhaps a dozen things to sell in every picture. There are the stars, the producers, the directors, the authors. There is the story. There is the type of story. But not every element has the same sales value and it is the duty of the advertiser to choose the one or two elements which will result in the greatest box-office return. That is a problem of analysis. ‘Secondly, his prospects. There has been much loose talk about mental ages as distinct from ehronological age, and intelligent quotients. But these terms, devised as they have been by psychologists and educational experts, can mean very little to the layman —even to those who feel that they understood their meaning and know how they have been arrived at. But. there is one sure fire method of determining the intellectual status of your patrons. Study the Newspaper ; Study the newspaper in which you advertise! High salaried managing editors and circulation managers try their darndest to keep the’contents of the paper ' Copy and illustration depend almost entirely on our 0 o-@-+ © +OO 0-O--O2-OOO Oe OO O-1O2SOS 902 S O° SO° THIS IS THE SECOND i of a series of articles on : theatrical advertising and : merchandising prepared ¢ by Publix Opinion. Suc} ceeding articles will deal } with layout, typography, i and engraving, publicity, ; news-writing, and promo$ tion. DO o-SO>S$ O+-O-Os-O-O:-O-+O+ OO: O-O*OOO a ae at a certain level in order to retain their own class of readers. Do not use in your advertising, words that the paper would. not use in its news columns. Notice the emotional appeals used by the reporters in their writeups (these are especially obvious in the tabloid type paper) and appeal to the same emotions, always avoiding, of course, the salacious tone which Mr. Katz has banned in Publix. Pay close attention to department store advertising in the newspa| pers and learn about the newspaper readers from that. Department stores can check on the efficacy of their ads sooner than anyone else, and it is safe to follow their intellectual standards. In some cities there will be a great difference in the various papers, in others very little difference. In New York, for instance, there is an intellectual world between the tabloids and the Times or Evening Post. Yet advertisers even in New York have made the mistake of using the same ad for all papers. When an ad has been reduced in intellectual appeal to a common denominator suitable to all people it is either perfect, or else does not sell all readers with the same force. The latter is probably the truth. The factory type of patron may come to your theatre but not because of a class ad you imay have prepared, neither will the better type of customer come because of a shoot-’emup ad. Study your patrons before you adopt an advertising policy! _ i Although this is one of the most important principles in advertising craft, few people can practice it on paper. Yet it is done constantly in other activities. The writer once dropped in on a COPY CHECK Just what in my show or theatre am I selling? Just what appeal am I using to sell it? Have I considered the ladies? Do I need an illustration? : -_ Have I chosen the best one for my purpose? 6. Does my headline attract attention and carry the reader to the text? 7, Does the copy throughout the ad interest the reader, carry him through it, and make him feel that he ought to see the show? 8. Does the ad contain all the necessary information, namely—program, playdates, ‘home of Paramount pictures, address and means of transportation? — theatre sig-cut, Publix seal, and, where necessary, street SSA ; RY 21st, 1930 4 FOR ADVERTISING COPY manager who was busy preparing three speeches all to be made within the same week. One was to be given at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon, one was to be given before a ritzy women’s club, and the third was the weekly talk to the service staff. Although all three topi¢és were somewhat related, the manager was preparing three different sets of notes. As he put it, ‘I’ve got to be.a big brother boss to the ushers, a good fellow and well meaning business man to the Chamber, and a dignified theatre manager with a lot of sweet wise-cracks for the old ladies.”’ Method of Attack We now come to our second principle. Select your method of attack and keep it in mind from the first conception of the ad to the finished product. What is meant by that? Just this. Decide just what appeal you are going to use and fit everything— illustrations, layout and copy, to back up that appeal. But first we must decide on our appeals. Sometimes it is the desire on the part of the public to see a certain star. The story, the music, the other incidentals count for nothing. Clara Bow, George Bancroft and Greta Garbo, for instance, exert such appeals. In localities where they are accepted without question, it is foolish to sell anything with the same intensity as the performers. In New York, The Mighty was sold on the strength of Bancroft. In one ad, his head dominated the space, while his name stood out from the copy. The success of the picture at the Rivoli showed that the correct appeal was used. In cases of this sort, where stars have become favorites because of excellent performances in past pictures, it is advisable to mention the names of those pictures. For Bancroft, for instance, “Underworld,” ‘Wolf. of Wall Street,” “Thunderbolt,” and ‘‘The| Dragnet” recall pleasant purchases in the past. By all means, bring them to the attention of your patrons. The Story Appeal Sometimes it is the story with which we must corrall our patrons. Intense melodrama, examples of mother love, action in the great outdoors may prove the greatest selling factors. ‘‘Dr. Fu Manchu,” “Applause,” and “The Virginian” are three stories which correspond to the types just listed. A Sax Rohmer story means more to most people than does Warner Oland. In ‘Applause,’ Helen Morgan meant little outside of New York but the tale of mother love and sacrifice was poignant and appealing. Owen Wister’s dramatic account of the early pioneers is a classic because of its excellence as a story, and while, no doubt, in certain localities Gary Cooper, Richard Arlen, and Mary Brian are prime box-office personalities, the story itself is the thing to be sold. In a sense, what has gone before is a repetition of our first principle, namely, that we should analyze our product and patrons before we attempt to do anything. But we are now concerned with putting all our forces behind the appeal we have: selected. And considering the tools we work with—layout, copy, and illustrations, it is up to us to reconsider the basic principles that have prompted certain advertising traditions. The use of illustrations for instance is as old as motion picture advertising. What purpose does an illustration serve, and how does it help sell tickets? | iG . How Illustrations Help | In general, an illustration will help attract attention, will make it easier to understand the advertising message, will arouse desire 20 e-D-2 6 -S-$O+-OO2-S-+OeD+ O+-O-+O+ B02 GOs S-98° SOO Ge BIBLIOGRAPHY ¢ ADVERTISING COPY by George Burton ¢ ‘Hotchkiss oo published by Harper } Bros. $ New York City » ; COFY: ; by George P. Metzger ; published by Double¢ day, Page & Co. : Garden City, New York } A SHORT COURSE IN } ADVERTISING ; by Alex F. Osborne ; published by Charles ; Scribner’s Sons, ‘ ~ New York City ©Oe-D-0Oe-B-2Oe-O-$B-S-Os-B-9Be-B-0O>-B-O°-O--O+SOS OOO» OO Oe Oe Oe D1 Oe O00 OOO OO BeBe G5 Oe 0B Se HG D9 Oe GH Oe SOS produce a feeling-tone in the reader, and will impress upon the mind the apearance or the name of a commodity, person, or trade name. This. refers to all advertising. It is notoriously true that illustrations, as used in motion picture ads leave much to be desired. Just what is wrong? First, few are consciously chos en to do any of the things listed above. In small space, a picture cannot attract attention because it too must be small and hence, often lacks very. essential details. Again, used unskillfully, an illustration will sometimes compete with a headline for attention with the result that instead of attract-. ing attention it does just the opposite. And thirdly, those which are used for attention drawing value are often poorly chosen. Pictures showing people in action are superior to pictures of people motionless or of objects. Pictures facilitate comprehension. Motion picture advertising makes very little effort to teach. But when we show a woman with a pistol in her hand, a wild look in her face, and the body of a man on the floor, we have told a story | without saying a word. Do we | want our ad to tell a story? Must we choose our picture carefully? Absolutely. Illustrations help arouse desire. Most illustrations used in our business do that whether meant to or not. Before a person can do anything, he must think. To think of something, is often one step removed from doing it. To. see Clara Bow in an alluring pose in an ad is for many people sufiicient reason for seeing her on the screen. A funny situation from a Harold Lloyd comedy, a _ love scene from a Garbo picture, something swashbuckling from a Douglas Fairbanks photoplay, all of — these will help arouse the desire to experience more of the same. Realizing this, it should be easy to select pictures for our ads. But how many. advertisers, after they have chosen a picture which will do what we have described, will — carry on with the proper copy and._ 4 layout? Not too many. In short, — there is often a good deal of — irrelevancy between illustration and the rest of the ad. ( Influence Feeling Tone | Illustrations influence fgoling: tone. What is feeling-tone? It is the pleasant sensation of luxury patrons feel in modern movie palaces, it is the warmth we feel when we see a cheery smile, it is our reaction to a pleasant greeting, a decorative design, a charming personality or picture. It is easy enough to achieve in an advertisement and very often people who have never heard the term “feeling-tone’’ will have expressions of it in every bit of creative work they do whether it is the preparation of an ad, the drawing of a poster or the preparation of a lobby display. The choice of illustrations will influence feeling-tone, so will the layout, and the typography. These, however, are treated in special articles and nothing further will be said about them here. ’ We are still concerned with the steps we must take to put across the appeal we have selected as being the best for selling our show. (Continued on page nine) ——————————————————————————————— | AD AND TRAILER FUEL! To prevent overworking that word “‘great,’’ and other de scriptives, paste this in your hat when you need a few hot words for an ad or trailer. selling organization, compiled it f experience with Balaban & Katz David A. Lipton, of the Detroit-Publix m his ten years of writing ublicity department. Don’t overwork these ‘sock’? words and they'll be more effective. FOR COMEDIES Giggles Fresh Tender FOR DRAMAS Passionate FOR EPICS (Super adjectives) Sensational on the part of the reader, will || Snickers Happy Smiles Gay Frisky Heart Laughs Fast : Fun Flip Gags Clever Belly Laughs Laughter Wisecracks Diverting Hilarious Wit Mirthful Farce Comic Merry : Jocularity Howling Merriment Burlesque Frolicking Amusement Rollicking Chuckles Whimsical Entertainment Jest Grins Quips Roars Scintillating Guffaws Facetious Sprightly Humorous Sparkling Sublime Romantic Vivid Realistic Wondrous Beautiful Enchanting Inspiring Capable Gorgeous Glorious Tempestuous Fascinating Lavish Elaborate Dramatic Colorful Picturesque Good Fine Perfect Splendid Thrilling Thrill-packed Powerful Melodramatic Infinite Lovely Elegant Radiant Resplendent Glowing Attractive Splendor Pretentious Dashing Flashing . Glittering Flaming Sumptuous Majestic Breathless Alluring Tempting Seductive Fervent Tense Marvelous Dazzling Cyclonic Hypnotic Unique” Unsurpassed . Superb Stupendous Exquisite Volcanic Amazing Smashing Crashing Titantic Vast Gigantic Huge Masterful Immense Wonderful Remarkable Thundering Juggernautic Dynamic Roughshod Striking Exciting Sweeping ' Excellent Unequalled Magnificent Supreme Superior Spectacular Unrivaled Matchless Thunderous. Startling Magnitude Monstrous Mammoth Colossal Towering Mighty Whooping Whacking Terrific Breath-taking