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Quick Study

When you need to capture your prospects' attention in the blink of an eye, remember: less is more.

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

I'm always confounded by how many ads make the reader work to appreciate their sales messages. Without naming names, every morning, one of the nation's most prestigious business-oriented newspapers is filled with big, serious-minded, aesthetically pleasing ads from stellar companies whose messages are, to be charitable, oblique. You might call this "advertising haiku," using headline words and phrases that require contemplation and interpretation. My guess is they more often elicit indifference. These companies could take a lesson in communication from ads like the one shown here. It's one that makes its sales points so deftly that you, the typically apathetic passerby, don't have time to be indifferent. It snares you in a nanosecond.

Created for Home Diagnostics Inc., a maker of blood glucose monitors for diabetics, the ad gets an A+ for its compelling, quick-as-a-wink presentation of benefits. The company's ad agency, Mason Selkowitz Marketing Inc. in Fairport, New York, chose fingertip icons with two-word captions to convey the message at the speed of light. It's an ad you might say passes the billboard test: Like outdoor advertising that must make its point to a set of eyes traveling past at 60-plus mph, the ad for TrueTrack monitors registers in an instant.

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