I did some preparation and some research.
1) The things I looked at were mainly dimensions of billboards and of ad spaces in magazines. I did this so that I wouldn’t have to downsize of up-scale my work at a later date. Anything I create should be the right size.
2) Read some tutorials and guides on effective copywriting for charitable campaigns. I did this because it quickly became apparent to me that I am useless at it! I am either too patronising, too vague or too specific. I think the one I found on IDM was the most helpful.
1) Here are two PDF’s. The first is a billboard size guide and the second is a spec for a magazines advert slots.
I think I am going to opt for 48 sheets as it is a sizeable, doable billboard that should be easy enough to put up in remote parts of the world.
I also chose to look at a real magazines specifications, this would give me a real, live aim. It should be delivered exactly as a real magazine would expect it to be.
2) The tutorial on effective copywriting was helpful because I definitely came away with some useful knowledge.
- Mother Teresa said, “If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.”
This part of the tutorial told me that I should make the audience focus on an individual. This is an obvious thing to me, one that I just happened to ignore. I think it is such a basic and subtle method that I didn’t even realise it was being done, but if you look at previous campaigns it is a technique that is often adopted. People feel overwhelmed by the idea of helping a mass of 2 million, but one person? That’s much more digestible.
- “In Zambia, severe lack of rainfall has resulted in a 42% drop in grain production. This has resulted in three million Zambians facing extreme hunger.“
Snore. I also read that statistics numb the mind and effectively cloud the message. I should stay away from numbers if I want my ad to seem real and pure.
The site also says: “This is because when people think about statistics, they tend to think analytically rather than emotionally. That means their emotional mind switches off.“
- “Writing effective fundraising letters is not all about the scale or worthiness of the cause. It’s also about understanding social psychology and established methods of influence and persuasion.“
All of the above tells me: I should write an emotional copy that reaches it’s audience’s heart and touches their brain. It should make them think of little Abu from Ghana and how they can help him get the most out of life. I want the person reading this to be reminded of how good it will feel to help. I cannot do this by bunging the text with numbers and statistics, this will activate the analytical part of their brain, instead I should stick to powerful and meaningful words to get the emotional reaction I desire.