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Altered State

Don't restrict your ads to the same clichéd images. Break away with visual special effects to create more bite.

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This story appears in the February 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Unfortunately, there's a lot of handsome, even hip, advertising sameness on display in the nation's periodicals, so you have to wonder how much of it gets passed over because of its monotony and, thus, invisibility. No, not every car ad displays its sedan against a backdrop of the desert, mountains or sea, but most do. Not every inkjet printer ad shows a color print of a cockatoo or clown sliding out, but few don't. And let's be honest, the predictably stylish fashion, liquor and fragrance ads do a better job of promoting the cheekbones and chest hair of their models than the products themselves.

Where's the originality out there? Where's the "try harder" mentality that's needed to grab the attention of the indifferent readers who typically breeze through a magazine with little regard for the ads it contains?

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