The Curse of Know-Nothing Marketers
The print medium of choice was a series of full-page ads in weekday editions of The New York Times and very likely elsewhere.
Four Irrevocable Rules of Space Advertising
"The headline selects the reader." —Axel Andersson, direct marketing guru, founder of the Axel Andersson Akademie, Hamburg
"The headline is the 'ticket on the meat.' Use it to flag down readers who are prospects for the kind of product you are advertising. If you are selling a remedy for bladder weakness, display the words BLADDER WEAKNESS in your headline; they catch the eye of everyone who suffers from this inconvenience. If you want mothers to read your advertisement, display MOTHERS in your headline. And so on." —David Ogilvy
"On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent 80 cents out of your advertising dollar." —David Ogilvy
"Avoid blind headlines—the kind which mean nothing unless you read the body copy underneath them; most people don’t." —David Ogilvy
In the first illustration in the mediaplayer to the right there are two versions of the top third of the full-page of The New York Times ad for Pradaxa. The left-hand ad is what actually ran in four weekday editions of the Times. The headline breaks every one of the above rules:
"FINALLY after 50 years our patients have a choice."
This blind headline could be for any medication or procedure from aspirin to arthroscopic surgery.
You have to continue reading to see what the ad is about. The easily overlooked little deck under this big headline talks about who should be reading the ad:
If you have an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation
not caused by a heart valve problem
ask your doctor about PRADAXA.