mini2: Advertising that sells (from US).

I am vacationing in Hua Hin (Thailand). The view is brilliant, the mind is still and the thoughts are clearer. After a sumptuous lunch while looking for something to read, I found the US edition of the Conde Nast Traveller magazine. I don’t typically read travel magazines, but I am a sucker for “sharp” brand communication. As I leafed through the mag, I couldn’t help but notice that the advertising content in general was superior to what one typically sees in the UK (or maybe my taste is more American :-))).

 The production values were awesome. Photography was rich, vivid and sharper. Layout and typography enhanced the messaging and needless to say the copy in general was brilliant and insightful. I haven’t seen so many “good” ads in one magazine for a long time and mind you, I am a voracious magazine reader averaging 3-4 magazines for every 3 hour flight . I mainly encounter cliched and insipid ads from banks, oil companies and Airlines. 

I will put some of the ad visuals on the post when I am back home and close to a scanner. In the interim, here is a sampler of some headlines and body copy.

1. CADILLAC CTS : “When you turn your car on, does it return the favor?”

Check out the website for more. It is stylish, sexy and slick. I don’t know about the car much but the communication definitely succeeds in generating interest ( read people in show room and test drives). The reviews don’t seem too bad either. Read more here.

2. Sotheby’s International Realty : I didn’t know they had entered realty also.The tag-line sums up the emotions about a home brilliantly – “A unique home is both a private retreat and a public statement”.

In fact this thought of personal pleasure and public statement applies to luxury goods in general.

3. Charles Schwab :Headline : “I have a teenager. I don’t need a broker who doesn’t listen to me”.Tag-line : “Start talking. We’re listening”. This is part of the “Talk to Chuck” campaign.

There are two others, one for AMEX cards and one for VW Passat, which need to be read in full for real impact.

What I like is : Insightful messaging. Creative focus on eliciting a response/delivering  the marketing objective. Appealing execution.

In my view US is not just ahead in marketing communications but also in leveraging “design” to drive business and brand growth.

Maybe I need to change my FORTUNE and TIME subscription to the US editions.


2 responses to “mini2: Advertising that sells (from US).

  1.’s funny that I read Cosmopolitan in both UK and US Editions as well!! And I agree with you that the US edition is much more flashy and interesting. And yeah they do a lot of of typography and express a lot of quite open attitudes. I guess that’s the difference between being “conservative” and “liberal”??

    And trust me you can find some of the most interesting ads in Cosmopolitan since it’s especially designed for women – the biggest consumers in the world!!

    I once found the ads for “Camel Lights” on the US edition of Cosmopolitan and the whole page was pink! very eye catching!

  2. I loved reading the article and how others are consciously aware of the ads and context presenting a message [the art in it ] reading international magazines is one of my favorite things in life, more lifestyle mag’s buy time becoming big for me.

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