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Function Over Form

By Sandra Pearce, MPA Media Marketing Manager

Function Over Form How many of you have seen a fabulous TV commercial, one that makes you laugh out loud and just plain captivates you from start to finish? And then you can't remember what on earth they were trying to sell? And how many of you have seen a TV commercial that was so poorly done that you wondered who's garage it was filmed in and whose relative the spokesperson must have because that's the only way they could have gotten the job? And then you remember all of it and exactly what they were selling? And what about a TV commercial that pulled you in, kept your attention and was well done? And, you actually remember it afterwards and what they were trying to sell.

The fabulous commercial is an example of "form over function".
The bad commercial is an example of "function over form".
The last example is form and function.

To create a really good branded image of your company and get a good ROI, we have to strike that balance.

Sometimes marketers and designers get so caught up in the creative thrill that the goal of the ad gets lost, but boy are we proud of how good looking it is! Then we get the hard reality check when the responses just aren't there. That happens when we lose sight of "function". But letting your creative juices flow is a good thing. It just needs to be balanced.

Other times we get stuck on wanting to put everything we think is important in the ad, so much so that nothing really stands out. This happens when we forget that the ad is a contact creation tool, and it shouldn't be expected to close the deal. We need to remember that our future customers need only enough information to motivate them to get in touch with us. We can close them on the phone or our website. And lest we forget if we tell them everything, why would they need to call us?

Now I'm going to illustrate further with an analogy. You know how I love analogies. Think about it as if it is a story. It starts with "Once upon a time" and ends with "And they lived happily ever after". Of course, the happily ever after is that they get in touch with you to get more information or buy what you're selling.

So, I'm going to follow my own advice and end the article here. There is more to this story but I'm not going to tell you all of it and hopefully I've achieved the "Happily ever after" and you'll call or email me for more of the "Function Over Form" story.

We welcome your input.
If you would like a particular topic or subject covered, please e-mail us.

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