Advertising To Men
( Originally Published 1902 )
When the clothier and furnisher dips his pen into the ink bottle to tell the world what varied attractions in price and quality are found within his establishment, he should always bear in mind that he is speaking to men. And in speaking to men there are a few rules that he should bear in mind.
Men are different from women in this one regard—as far as reading ads is concerned. Men hate detail—women rather like it. You cannot give a woman too many details regarding an article which she intends to buy. Quite different with the masculine member of the genus home. He wants a quick story interestingly told. There is more humor in his composition, consequently a joke or a wee bit of humor helps the ad once in a while. But humor must be used right. It is so subtle a quality that few writers handle it properly. An illustration tells the story at once—the type takes a minute to give its meaning. A bright picture and a brief story is what men want in advertising, and the advertiser should study the best clothing ads everywhere in order to get pointers.
Among the best examples of Gotham clothing and furnishings advertising are those shown by Rogers, Peet & Co., Brill Bros., and Wm, Vogel & Son, in New York. The ads of these houses are mighty snappy and bright and are full of choice clothing information.
Every ad should be specific. It should speak of a certain article or two articles, with price and full information regarding the same. It may start in with a short story told in a single paragraph—a famous quotation or some clever catch line. This is done to arrest attention and act as an introduction to the business talk which rapidly follows. Or you might start in with a plain, unvarnished business tale, which some men might prefer to the other sort of ad.
In all events be brief, be succinct. — Let every sentence convey an idea. If the idea has been expressed before express it in a new dress. The clever advertising writer understands this art to a point of perfection. It is hard to come out with a new story on the same old subject every day in. the year. It requires study—it means work—as does every result nowadays.
The ad writer of the Nebraska Clothing Company, of Omaha, Neb., writes the best clothing and furnishings " ad" in the West. It is funny—but his fun represents gentle, unadulterated humor, which naturally trickles through his " ads" and leaves a pleas-ant impression. The trouble with humorous advertising is that few can do it. Many attempt it, but the result is strained and far-fetched, and repels instead of attracts. Humorous humor is a delicate quality and should be handled delicately.
Be perfectly natural, be vigorous when you feel like it, be easy when you feel like it. Speak your own thoughts. Be true to yourself in this regard. The more a man writes advertising the more confidence he has in the power of his pen, and the more individuality and consequently interest will his advertising possess.
I believe in individuality in advertising because so much advertising is forced upon the reader nowadays that only the distinctive leaves an impression. I believe in honesty in advertising, because honesty is a necessary business qualification, that enters into advertising as well as every branch of business. Advertising is a fascinating study, which only the school of experience will thoroughly teach.