When Creativity Can Kill
" . . . With NDS software, everyone on your network has a unique profile. They can access the network online to get all the necessary business tools even when they're away from the office. With one password, the network identifies which files and applications they may use while restricting access to secure or sensitive documents."
I would argue that even a headline lifted straight from the body copy would work better than "Node?" For example, if you wanted to settle for a no-brainer, you could show photos of employees doing different jobs and simply plug in the headline:
"Now, give everyone the business tools they need-even when they're away from the office."
In my opinion, even this rather flat-footed line, lifted (nearly) directly from the body copy, would serve Novell's interests better than asking "Node?" but it's differences of opinion that make horse races.
In the very same issue of Fortune, BUY.COM ran a full page ad that makes the simple claim "Lowest prices on earth." They backed up the claim by comparing the price you'd pay at Amazon.com and BUYBOOKS.COM for the same best-seller.
BUY.COM doesn't play games, they don't get cute, they just prove to you, with an old-fashioned "side-by- side" comparison, that you can save twelve bucks on a book by shopping at their website.
If YOU are tempted to use a teaser headline and play it cute in an ad, in direct mail or on the web, I urge you to think again. As John Caples, the father of direct marketing advertising advised years ago:
"Avoid the ‘hard-to-grasp' headline-the headline that requires thought and is not clear at first glance. Remember that the reader's attention is yours for only a single involuntary instant. People will not use up their valuable time trying to figure out what you mean. They will simply turn the page."