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Claim to Fame

Is your product or service claim as provocative as it could be? Find out how to make yours unforgettable.

This story appears in the January 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When you have a strong claim to make in advertising, the impulse is to offer a chest-pounding declaration for all to see and hear. But the world is a cacophony of chest-pounding claims. So how do you make your voice heard above the rest? One effective device is to shape the claim in the form of a question, essentially asking if the claim is true. This can provoke extra curiosity and, with it, readership.

That's what's going on in the Nature Made vitamin ad shown here. The heading could have simply said, "Reduce the effects of stress with Super Vitamin B-Complex" or other words to that effect. Instead, the company's ad agency, Williams-Labadie in Chicago, posed it as a question, partly to educate the reader. The ad asks, provocatively, "Can a vitamin really reduce the effects of stress?" It's a question that attracts people dubious about the benefits of taking vitamins as well as those who assume prescription drugs are the only solution. And of course, inside the question is the claim that vitamins do reduce the effects of stress.

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