Words. Canon. Shot.


My dad, Fred Poppe, who was a terrific writer and ad pundit, had a thing for one word headlines. They drove him crazy. Typically, these ads place a word like RELIABILITY in block letters centered atop the page. Lazy efforts like this are what give ad people a bad name.

My pet peeve is multiple word headlines with the words separated by periods. Like the headline of this blog post. Canon is running a printer campaign using one of these constructs: Produce. Persuade. Perform. On Paper.

This is not an idea; it’s not even 4 ideas. Whatever it is you can drive an earthmover through it. If there is an idea hidden in this campaign, it’s probably the last part of the word string “On paper.”  You just might be able to build a selling story around that, given the right strategy, but for the life of me I can’t tell what that strategy would be from what I read. 

The campaign runs on 4 consecutive half-page horizontal pages and tosses out words like: speed, quality, budget, quality, productivity, accuracy, quality, consistency, speed, accuracy and consistency. And just in case your brain wasn’t spinning fast enough, they repeat “Produce. Persuade. Perform. On Paper.” in each ad.

Here’s what consumers will say about this campaign in day-after recall copytesting: “I remember pictures on a table and lots of black space.” Props to the art director.