Only one page of this two-page spread seems to move the brand forward. That one page gives readers a fresh perspective on Buick. Prospective customers infer a lot about a brand from its users. Users are rich with implications for the brand. The young woman, the user, is fashionable, a little daring, exciting, and excited. Readers can easily imagine the sort of car she must be driving.
The headline says, “There are still people with blue hair who drive a Buick.” Together with the photo, the headline involves the reader in substitution. The headline obviously doesn’t mean what it appears to mean. Readers easily substitute the correct meaning—“The blue hairs that drive today’s Buicks are people who add blue highlights for style and fun.” The substitution gives readers a chance to participate in the message, and their participation makes them more likely to believe it.
But the rest of the ad is standard car shots, especially the array of Buicks fanned out with a background of hills and the setting sun.
The excited young woman with blue highlights tells readers that today’s Buicks are different. The rest of the ad makes readers think that maybe this is the same old Buick, after all.
One page moving forward. One page in reverse.