A magazine is made of many great parts (I’m a big fan, as you might guess). But too often we tout only the “edit” side of the magazine—that is, all of the parts that are not advertising.
As I look back over my writing, I see that’s the case. I’ve praised stories, writing, authors, photos, design—but not ads.
In one way, that’s understandable: I really have nothing to do with the ads. As at many publications, we have a (conceptual) wall between “edit” and “ads.” Getting your content into one side in no way relates to getting your content into the other.
Therefore, I see the ads very late in the production process, often at proof stage. That’s where I can see how the ads lay out, and we can determine if there are any awkward “adjacencies,” either in content or design/color/look.
But once the issue comes out, I read those ads closely. Sure, I appreciate them beyond measure, as the revenue they represent makes our magazine be “in the black.” But I appreciate them for a deeper reason: They serve our readers as much as the edit does.
Besides their service value, they also teach me a lot. It’s not uncommon that upon reading an ad I learn something I didn’t know, or that I get a story lead. They can often be idea-generators.
And, every now and then, they make me pause in admiration. Some are simply gorgeous ads; others are evocative or revealing. And some make me laugh.
In future posts, I may mention what I’ve seen in regard to the first two categories. But “make me laugh” I will cover today.
The humorous ad that grabbed me came from a law firm, recently formed via a break-up of one firm into two. This may be less common than a merger, but it is still a staple of legal-profession communications, and rarely makes me slow down as I read.
But the joint ad of Lang & Klain and Baker Law Offices was different.
Here, first, is their full ad, as it appeared on proof:
And there, at the bottom of the ad, was a rather unique inscription:
Curious about the break-up? Visit http://lang-klain.com/thedirt
Here’s the close-up:
What ads have made you stop in your tracks, in Arizona Attorney or elsewhere? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.Follow @azatty