Thursday, August 21, 2008

Marketing Messages That Sell: Using Puns

Small business owners need marketing genius.

We’re not able to compete with the big boys and their big advertising budgets. Those of us who advertise in newspapers or magazines usually have smaller sized ads that can easily get lost on the page. We need to stand out.

One way to do this: pun.

A pun, or a play on words, can be effective as a marketing message because it gets people’s attention—and the first challenge of creating marketing messages that sell is to succeed in getting people’s attention.

When skimming over the newspaper, glancing at billboards, or digesting the chatter of the radio that’s on in the background, a play on words makes people stop and think.

What was that?! Did I read/see/hear that right?

A recent ad in my neighborhood newspaper made me do just that.

It’s a very small ad—only 1.75” x 2”—but it made me stop on the page, smile, and read it in detail. It also made me think about what was being advertised and whether it would benefit me.

The ad is by a business called The Cycling Salon. Their logo (pictured above) is awesome; it’s playful and sets the tone for the pun to come. You see, The Cycling Salon is in the business of offering (drum roll please) Pedal Cures for Women! Here’s the text of the ad:

Pedal Cures for Women

Bike fittings for all!

Want to start bicycling again? Don’t know where to start? See us for bike fitting, bike shopping, or basic repairs!


That’s a TON of information to fit into a tiny ad smaller than 2” x 2”. Nevertheless, The Cycling Salon effectively communicated who they are, what they do, who their target market is, what the benefit is of acting on the ad, and two ways to get in contact.

It's a marketing message punned to perfection, I might say.

Read some additional ways to incorporate puns into marketing messages that sell on Copyblogger at this post, Let’s Hear It for the Lowly Pun! by Maeve Maddox.

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