Advertising is part of a brand’s conversation with consumers. The first two rules of conversation are:
- Have something interesting to say. Every sent message implicitly promises receivers that it is worthy of their attention.
- Say only what receivers cannot provide on their own. Include too much in your message and you insult your audience forfeiting your ability to persuade. Say too little and your message is unintelligible. Strike the right balance, and the audience feels you understand them. What’s left out of the message establishes a degree of complicity, a level of emotional closeness between the sender and the receiver.
These ads fully comply. They have something interesting to say. They are beautiful puzzles. Each ad is a close-up of a brilliantly colored animal, so close-up that readers cannot be sure what the animal is.
The photographs, without words, implicitly and powerfully remind readers of the endangered marvels of nature.
All dialogue in the ads is confined to two small panels that appear like laundry tags on a garment. The first “laundry tag” says that “Some stains were not meant to disappear.” telling readers that these amazing creatures need our protection. The second “tag” gives readers the product name, Clorox Green Works, and its biodegradable claim.
The puzzles and the provocative line, “Some stains are not meant to disappear.” engage the audience. As readers work out the meaning, they provide, for themselves, the message.