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Shaving Face

Here are three simple techniques that can save any ad from being forgettable.

This story appears in the June 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

You don't need a column like this to tell you that concocting a great headline and visual are critical to creating an effective ad. You already know that. But there's another component to ad-making that's an equal, if not greater, challenge: figuring out how to lasso the prospect into reading the rest of the ad. It's not easy, no matter how well-crafted your message. It's much simpler to get attention than to hold it. Persuading readers to go beyond the clever phrasing in the heading and the eye candy of the visual requires some special, complex thinking.

That's what the people in Gillette's Braun division accomplished with this ad for the company's new self-cleaning shaver. This ad gets an A+ in many departments, but special kudos go to those who designed body copy that's inviting to read. By housing the five breezy questions and answers in a little five-tiered table (similar to the one found in the "tools" pull-down menu on many computers), the copy looks refreshingly different from the typical paragraph format and is therefore tempting to read. Not only that, it's a smile-inducing set of Q&As ("Will it make me more handsome? No, it's not that revolutionary.") The information here is light on detail, though; it would have been effective to point out that a self-cleaning shaver would yield a closer shave.

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