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Twin Picks

Dare your audience to compare, and your product is sure to get a lot of attention. Here's how to pull off a great side-by-side comparison ad.

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

Challenge us to tell two things apart that look alike, andwe're hooked. For example, in a jewelry ad, ask which is the3-carat diamond pendant and which is the cubic zirconia, andyou'll suck us right into scrutinizing them. In an ad forcontact lenses, ask which eyes are true-blue and which have coloredcontacts, and we won't budge until we find out. What betterkind of reaction could a marketer dream of, especially in a worldof short attention spans?

In the spirit of side-by-side comparisons, the creators ofInstaFiber,a soluble, natural supplement, came up with this ad. It shows twoglasses of water, one of which we're told in the headline has 9grams of fiber. Although the ad does not identify which one it is,the point is made in the visual. Whichever it is, it'sinvisible, not the unappetizing orange goop one typicallyassociates with a of drinkable fiber. And the side-by-sidecomparison rivets our attention. Look down a bit further in the ad,and the first two bullet points declare: "Dissolves invisibly. . . No taste or texture." That pretty much cinches it forpeople who grin and bear the typical fiber supplement drink. Youalmost needn't read the rest of the ad to decide to leap ontothe company's website or call the toll-free number toorder.

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