Side-by-side comparison ads, if done well, are still a powerful form of communication. The old Rolling Stone “perception-reality” campaign comes to mind. In today’s Wall Street Journal is another example worth mentioning. It’s a watch ad by a company called A. Lange & Sohne. On the left side of the half page horizontal is a very impressive black and white picture of a Lange Double Split (perfectly named) wrist watch. On the right, a picture of the innards. Okay, the manufacture movement. Okay, the “symphony of horological artistry.”
The picture of the inside of the watch looks like a Hieronymus Bosch painting.
Upon reading the copy you realize this watch is one of man’s true feats of engineering. A point hammered home by the fact that I have no clue what a rattrapante is, and I’m still interested. The rattrapante, two actually, is the ad’s subject. (I think it means stop watch hand, but don’t quote me.)
In a society that will spend $2,000 for a sport jacket made of (tah-dah) cloth, this simple ad is going to ring up some serious sales. For a product that is a throwback to times of great craftsmanship, this ad is a throwback as well. Just perfect.