Urgent advert help please

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Just need some quick input guys. I've had to scramble this together as an advert idea. It needs to be submitted by tomorrow morning first thing. It's going to the graphic design department of a publisher, so they can make it look better than I can, but I'm after your opinions on the content, text, & overall style/message. Pity it's this week, as by next week, I'll have photo's of the finished range of drums.

Any help/opinions much appreciated :)
 

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Mark_S

Silver Member
It's a bit subjective, and I'm only nit picking and being over critical as generally I like it, but : -

The main issue I can see is the text doesn't stand out so well. For example, where it says "Unique all aluminium.." it sort of blends into the chrome of the drum a bit. Same with the word "Origin". Maybe the text needs an outline of the same colour but a little darker.

Also I would of taken the photos differently and gone for more background blur (or at least tried it), but they still look good. Also on the bottom photo I would of used a zoom lens and took the photo further back so as to not elongate and distort the look of the bass drum so much, but again it is subjective and maybe that is what you were going for.

It's always difficult for me to look at something like this and know exactly what to do. I always have to mess about with it for ages until it suddenly looks how I want it.

I wonder how it would look if you darkened the main background photo to help the overlapping photos and text stand out? It might look terrible but it is something I would try.

I'm just trying to think of some ways to add some "depth" to it (darkening, background blur, etc.).

I don't know if I've been a help or a hinderance here!
 

kettles

Gold Member
I'm assuming the graphic designer is going to be building the ad, and this is just your rough example?

Immediate opinion - The placement of the photos and text is a mess. Most of the real estate is taken up by a spur, and some rocks (albeit some nice rocks). And it looks crammed. Think about the concept of space in music, the same goes for design.

You need an overall (front/angled) shot of the kit, like almost every other drum ad. That should be the point of focus in the center of the page. I would go with a nice shot of the kit, and one small close up of the hoop/lug showing your fancy new innovation. The layout of a graphic design is critical. Looking at your image, my eyes don't know where to look, and even after studying it for a while I'm not sure what I saw. To someone who knows nothing about Guru, this just looks like yet another ad for some drums. Anyone actually interested can easily check out the website, but first you need to spark their interest.

I think you also should think up some more clever/catchy wording. The blurb you have does not scream "these drums are the best thing your sorry eardrums will ever have the privilege of hearing, they sound and look f***ing beautiful, buy me". Put yourself in the mindset of someone 'cool'. How would Elvis describe the drums? Johnny Cash? John Lennon? Buddy Rich even? Would they be getting excited over the aluminium hardware? I don't think so... You can put details about undrilled shells, aluminium hardware, etc, in smaller print near the bottom which will entice those who actually care or understand the significance.

I would think the Guru name needs to be more prominent, but if the Guru logo is actually on the kick head then nevermind. To me it looks like Origin is the brand name.

Put "Made in (town), England" somewhere. I like the demonstration line, but with a location I would expect more interest, someone seeing it might think "hey that's just up the road..."

Hope this helped - hope I wasn't too harsh :)
 

Mark_S

Silver Member
Kettles did a far better job of critiquing it than me, and I tend to agree with most of what he said now I look again. I was more trying to think of ways to improve it using what you already had. That spur really does dominate it. Don't get disheartened though! I know what it is like to be doing these things last minute...

I've just noticed too that the website address is hard to see (I don't have my glasses on, but that dark blue is definitely not helping).
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Guys - superb responses from both of you. Just what I was after.

Images too busy/confusing - check

Unclear message - check

I'm off to have another go. Some background info;

Some arty guys with good programs will fashion this. This is just my ideas submission. Demonstrations offered are on a "we come to you" basis, so location's a moot point.

More importantly, this is only aimed at a UK audience. UK consumers react very badly to over sensationalised statements, in fact, anything that smells of "salesman". Equally, this advert is not targeting a wide demographic. It's targets are: Pro players, advanced hobbyists, collectors, studios, etc

The above still makes your observations most valid, & I thank you for taking the time to chime in. Completely agree on the text getting lost. The blue web address is just a quirk of my program recognising it as a link.

Trying for take two now :)
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I have to agree with Kettles. If one of my interns turned this in, he'd be doing color separations for a year in penance.

You are trading on the incredible artistry of the drums. I would say, they need to be front and center, with no competing textures, in full view. I would get a photo or two of them on a solid white or solid black background... maybe front and drivers-seat views. Text should be minimal. You are looking for some simple, hook phrases to bring people in.

"Everything changes."

"The old rules no longer apply.'

"Leave what you thought drums were... behind".

Maybe at the bottom some very simple copy describing your innovations, such as the no-drilling, no-contact anything, etc. etc. Then finish with the logo and contact info.

Less is more in this case. You don't have to get all creative and artsy with the ad - you already did that marvelously with the drums. They will be what makes the ad successful.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Ah bugger, just noticed replies from Al & G whilst away arranging take 2 :( More good advice to take onboard. Is this an improvement? Issue is, I have only limited tools, limited skills, a few photo's to work with (i.e. non with a black background), & almost no time :( I've got to do two press news releases by this evening too!
 

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alparrott

Platinum Member
It's better. If you have one of the whole kit, against whatever background, perhaps you could do a top and bottom black border around the picture for your copy. I think we're getting closer, but I don't know if a partial shot of the kit is going to create the "wow" factor that a full kit photo might. My 2 pence.

EDIT: Also, the script of the logo (from the photo) and the word "Origin" are in similar but not identical typefaces, but right next to each other, and not aligned - very distracting.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
It's better. If you have one of the whole kit, against whatever background, perhaps you could do a top and bottom black border around the picture for your copy. I think we're getting closer, but I don't know if a partial shot of the kit is going to create the "wow" factor that a full kit photo might. My 2 pence.

EDIT: Also, the script of the logo (from the photo) and the word "Origin" are in similar but not identical typefaces, but right next to each other, and not aligned - very distracting.
You could well be right, but it's raining outside, so I can't take any more shots. I took these last thing yesterday (before I lost nearly all light). I do have a couple from that "session". I'll upload them & see what you think, but I don't think they're great :(
 

mxo721

Senior Member
my first thought...I want to see that beautiful drum set....behind that ugly text, I would move the whole thing around, so that the text is over the gravel, instead of over the drum.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I did you a quick mockup of an advert using another pic you had on the original thread. I can drop this one in... I like it... but I am out of the house for the next 4 hours.

I pm'ed you my email address. Shoot me an email and I can send you the ad I did.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
I did you a quick mockup of an advert using another pic you had on the original thread. I can drop this one in... I like it... but I am out of the house for the next 4 hours.

I pm'ed you my email address. Shoot me an email and I can send you the ad I did.
Thanks man :) I did send you an email a short time ago. let me know if you got it.

Andy.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Love Al's and Kettles suggestions. I personally think that the drums should be on velvet, not gravel, with a full kit shot. And Andy, have we not learned anything from the Girl Drummers thread? You need Monique to be all boobalicious and leggy on the kit.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Wow, those are gorgeous drums! I think neither of those drafts you've posted show enough of the them— I think you should throw both drafts out and just use the picture of the complete drum set. You can add a block of solid color (or a monochrome, low-contrast version of one of the photos) at the bottom to make it fit the format of the ad, and provide a background for your text.

Re: the first draft—
  • Make it clear that Guru is the brand and Origin is the series.
  • The text over the photo is fighting with the background.
  • Split the little paragraph into three lines:
    "Exquisite undrilled etc..."
    "Traditional British etc.."
    "Unique all aliminum etc."
  • Readers know the reason for a web address is for further info, so eliminate the excess verbiage there. Put the URL in white, or some other color than generic internet blue.

Re: the second draft—
  • Photo still doesn't show enough of the drums.
  • Better for the line vs. series issue, but the complete name of the company, "Guru Drum Works" or whatever, should be in there.
  • The line "this performance range kit is one of three new ranges..." is meaningless to me; lose it, or rewrite it for someone who doesn't know what "range" means in this context, what the Performance range is, or what the Origin series is (if you can do that without turning into a giant paragraph of junk no one needs to know when looking at your ad!).
  • The "to find out how different..." web address paragraph is too long, and unclear. If the web site is just a web site, just put the URL. If it has a special audio feature, add something like "listen to..." or "experience our..." or whatever; if there's something special hiding under the line "how different these instruments sound", work that in, too.
  • Unless he's famous and I haven't heard of him, you I don't think you need Nick Carter's name in there. Lose excess words wherever possible.

I hope that helps. I think if you just use that nice picture you have of the full drum set, and tighten up your copy, you're in business.
 

wombat

Senior Member
Its late here so I may be repeating what others have already said.

I like the full view of the drums, and not overly fussed about closeups...the woodwork already sets it apart.

No need for loads of text...the drums will do the talking....

The text you have in the second mockup is in black background which runs into the black of the bass drum reso head.

People dont read ads on the whole, they see an image and a logo...if theyre interested they will follow it up...maybee a website can have the descriptions, closeups etc.

I would just have somethink like "origin craftmanship is back oe even "English craftsmanship is back" wood for me is associated with old english cars (walnut dashes etc) old pubs etc...so the class aspect is shown by the lovely wood.

So summary...can the words, descriptors, pretty much all but the slogan and a link to further information.

If it looks cluttered people feel cluttered...adverts are about feeling.

Oh based on the dark wood I would go gor maybee a royal blue backround and maybee gold font...defintely not black and white...too stark against the wood.

Hope it helps good luck
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
Well, I'm no help in the Graphic Arts Department, but I'm pretty good at the Technical writing. I put your stuff together like this and cleaned up some of the punctuation.

"Traditional British craftsmanship in a groundbreaking new series from Guru Drumworks. Experience the Origin series for yourself. With three new and distinct styles to choose from, the Origin Series features exquisitely crafted, undrilled solid stave or steam bent shells mounted with an amazing new concept in aluminum hardware."
 
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