12 Formats of Advertising

I have been thinking about the advertising world a lot lately. Our recent experiment in running blog ads has left me mulling over a field I have long been curious about. In College, advertising was on the short list of potential careers (the creative side).

Then I came across this Slate article on the subject. Its essentially a crash course in the 12 advertising categories — "master formats — identified by Donald Gunn, creative director for advertising agency Leo Burnett.

Gunn decided to inject some analytical rigor into the advertising business:  He took a yearlong
sabbatical, studied the best TV ads he could find, and looked for elemental

Here are the master formats:

12 Formats of Advertising

1. Demos
2. Show the need or problem
3. Symbol, analogy, or exaggerated graphic to represent the problem
4. Comparison
5. Exemplary story
6. Benefit causes story
7. "Tell it"
8. Ongoing characters and celebrities
9. Symbol, analogy, or exaggerated graphic demonstrating a benefit of the product
10. Associated user imagery
11. Unique personality property
12. Parody or borrowed format

Fascinating stuff . . .



There Are 12 Kinds of Ads in the World
Seth Stevenson
Slate, Monday, July 23, 2007, at 12:19 PM ET

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