By Rhiannon Butlin
Three Half-learnings From Half Way Through Hey Whipple. Squeeze This.
‘Half-learnings’, why? Because if there’s one thing I realised reading Hey Whipple it’s that no learning is every entirely compete. The course seems to be a sequence of learnings and re-learnings, followed by a re-learning of that. And from what I can gather, this is a theme for the rest of your career.
Re-reading Hey Whipple at the back-end of the course shone an entirely new light on the book, and on each segment of the course itself. So what did I learn? And more importantly what did I re-learn?
- ‘Say it straight. Then say it great.’ It’s been said time and time again but re-reading the book I saw that Sullivan suggests beginning the headline with the words ‘This is an ad about…’. What better way to conquer the dreaded blank page? And what’s more it’s a fantastic reminder that simple is always better, what a bold way to get straight to the point.
- Do the opposite. Easier said than done. But Sullivan has some great suggestions to make this learning a little more achievable. Consider the opposite of the product. What doesn’t the product do? Who doesn’t use it? What’s the inverse problem. He even suggests turning the product upside down. His example is a fast-dry paint brand which is sold with a ‘Dry Paint’ sign. I’ve been struggling to take creative risks recently and I think that this could be a fantastic way to force myself to try something unexpected.
- Don’t do ads that look like ads. With all this talk of content it can be easy to forget that traditional ads shouldn’t necessarily feel like ads either. Sullivan asks, why does the logo have to go in the bottom right hand corner? Or, why does the headline have to be more prominent than the body copy? Now that I’m trying to pay more attention to executing and art direction a lot of the things I learnt on this subject feel rusty. This re-learning is a great place to start in order to make visually interesting ads.
It might sound a bit dramatic but I’m reluctant to put the book down, even once I’ve read it. I’m not ready to stop re-learning. And with placements coming up, I think the re-learning has only just begun.
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