When it comes to packaging design, website design, advertising – all forms and forums of marketing – far greater emphasis is placed on the visual rather than the written language.
Perhaps this is because those images, which are often the collaborative efforts of graphic designers, professional photographers, industrial designers, and more, are very expensive to create, as opposed to a tagline created by a copywriter or two for a fraction of the cost.
Or maybe it’s the result of the fundamental belief that human beings / consumers are visually driven, and the best way to grab their attention within the half second that they pass a product on a shelf or a poster on the street is through a compelling image.
In the end the vast majority of most brands follow the image first, language second approach, therefore it’s always surprising, and eye-catching, to encounter an exception to the rule.
One brand presently breaking the packaging design mold is Tribe Hummus.
Tribe Hummus Advertisement
Tribe Hummus Ad
The mere prominence of the tagline is eye-catching alone, and the bold confidence of the copy creates an immediate impression.
Whether or not a hummus brand particularly benefits from such tonally aggressive language is debatable; however that approach seems to be the popular one for copy-heavy branding. It’s as if agencies believe that if language is going to be foregrounded, it has to earn its keep through an edgy intensity, even when a brand, such as Tribe, could have probably been better served with a less aggressive form of wit and intelligence – something a little lighter, like their product.
While Tribe’s advertisement’s may not be perfect, they’re far better than those of Manhattan Mini Storage, whose ongoing series of copy-heavy billboards and posters represent the worst of unintelligent marketing.
Bizarre Insulting Ad
Incomprehensible Horrible Ad.
While these ads make no sense (a Manhattan Mini Storage Customer representative just admitted, over the phone, that he had “no idea” what this latter advertisement meant), they shouldn’t discredit the approach of copy-focused advertising.
Of course, Manhattan Mini Storage might contend that the inoffensive / incomprehensible nature of their ads make them newsworthy, and that any attention is good attention, however whatever success the campaign has generated most likely has to do with the size and scope of the billboards, rather than their content.
As Tribe Hummus continues its branding campaign to convert more Sabra believers and bring them into the tribe, it will be interesting to see if they can take the unnecessary edge out of their language, and perhaps make it as smooth as their product.