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10 lbs. of information in a 2 lb. bag: Why Whitespace is your Friend.


December 23, 2013

In the early part of the 20th century, advertising was prettier, cleaner and more pure. A message was based around the answers to these three key questions::

  • What is the product?
  • Why is it special?
  • Where can it be purchased?

Advertising didn’t need to be flooded with oceans of copy – there was little convincing needed. Consumers trusted their shopkeepers to offer a quality product at a fair price. Manufacturers and services didn’t have tons of competition. Specialty shops were few and far between. There weren’t four grocery stores in a five-mile radius, there was one. Prices were fair; there was no gouging. No overseas labor pool offering rock-bottom pricing competition.

But In the modern age of gluttony, disbelief, cynicism and competition, more convincing is needed to sell a product. Research suggests we see a minimum of 250 ad messages per day. Even with that mind blowing number, advertisers still feel compelled to over explain, over convince and over talk. Human brains are not able to retain that much information. So how will your company stand out amongst the hundreds of other advertisers?

I suggest standing apart from the pack with clean, clear, refreshing ads with WHITESPACE. Show confidence in your brand, say only what needs to be said and cut the fluff! Americans have split second attention spans. Too much copy drives consumers away, so pare down your message to a few sentences, a bulleted list or call to action. Use compelling photography, whitespace and simple font treatments to convey your message. Whitespace allows the brain to process information by causing a thought to be paused. Your product will be better remembered and  your message more easily absorbed.

If you feel like you’re leaving too much to be desired, perhaps add a URL or QR code that interested consumers will actively research.

Keep this rule of thumb in mind: a powerful message has to be absorbed in less than 3 seconds.