One of my many functions here at Bonobos includes designing ads that find their way into the phone books. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t looked in a phone book, in like, ever! At least not till I started here. In any case, if you’ve ever seen the ads that are in there, they’re really, I mean, REALLY crap. It’s almost like the plumbers and electricians designed their own ads in MS Word. But then again, like many others out there, I believe that placing ads in the phone book is a dying business, what with the Internet and Google and what not. But apparently there’s still enough business being generated from this medium. So I’ve been attempting to take these ad designs to another level.
One thing I’ve noticed about most of the ad designs in the phone book is that they’re designed as if the reader (if you can call a person who’s looking through the phone book that) knows who they are, when question really is what they’re looking for. Which means that the company logo taking center stage isn’t the right way to go.
First of all, if the person knew who you were, they wouldn’t be looking through the phone book in the first place. Secondly, none of them stand out. They’re all the same, none of them shout anything out or entice me to call them for what it is I’m looking for. Full page ads have way too many bullet points with too much text talking about things I don’t know about or care about either.
In any case, I’ve been experimenting with various methods of print designs concerning ads aimed at the phone book. These are mostly full page ads so that does open up a lot of possibilities in terms of space. These ads are also placed towards the front of the category, so they’re more likely to get noticed. But on top of that, I’ve aimed my designs at grabbing the most attention, while retaining self respect and avoiding cheesiness and above all, they need to remain memorable in the few seconds that a “reader” browses the other pages. Kinda like web design, only static.