Explanatory content picks up from the attention and interest that you’ve created in your headline and with your imagery and should move that into desire and action. So, after you’ve generated the initial attention, actually move somebody into desiring the product by explaining the value more clearly to them. On nearly every purchase, except for maybe low dollar value purchases, you’re going to need to tell somebody information to make a purchase discernible to them and desirable to them.
For example, in these Ogilvy and Bernbach ads, the copy is taking you from interest that’s coming from the headline and product image, and moving you into your desire for it. Informational content really works well here.
In the Rolls ad, the content is making you want the car. It is explaining all of these incredible benefits, including what kind of person you become when you drive a Rolls. It does a great job of showing and explaining that and moving you into desire, where if you have the means, that’s a car that’s worth going and getting. Even with that headline, that explains all the benefits, it can’t do enough to show you all of the features that make this car such a supreme luxury vehicle.
The Lemon ad is instead outlining all of these benefits without as much clarity but it is still very clear. The lemon is being used as an example of the reliability of the car. Very different value proposition than a Rolls Royce but shows that Volkswagen’s testing and examining all of the cars that come off their manufacturing line, and they are highly reliable. The copy is doing so much work that the word lemon alone and the image can’t do.
The customer needs information to move them from interest to desire and action. Long copy for some products makes a lot of sense in the advertising medium of still images, for other products you don’t need a lot of copy to explain the value. You just needed a little bit but you could explain the value anyway.
Whichever length you choose, you need to drive home the angle to make it clear to the customer what the value of the product is for them. The headline and the image cannot accomplish that alone.
Video can combine clear product imagery, a headline, and then detailed explanatory content where it can show everything that makes the product desirable.
For example, if you were advertising to a person purchasing a vintage baseball leather glove for themselves, you wouldn’t say anything about it being a gift that shows somebody how well you know them. That’s a different angle for the same product.
You would explain the features and benefits differently. Maybe something about the nostalgia of baseball and why you’ll love carrying this wallet around and why it’s really high quality, it’ll last you a really long time and you’ll feel awesome every time you take it out.
If somebody is buying a gift, they are not the end user of the product, they have to know something about the product. You have to give them a reason to be excited, such as it communicates that you know someone, that you love them, that you’ve understood what they care about, what they like, and a satisfying feeling of they now understand why or how much I know them and how much I love them.
Those are two different angles for the same product. Think about how your ad moves from headline and image into copy, or not just necessarily copy, but explanatory information that works through this idea.
For example, you should be thinking about how a customer not only sees video content but what happens to the product page. What happens with the whole system working together? Is there enough information at every step of that journey for the customer to get what they need to make the purchase?
Explanation would be simply explaining the features and benefits of the product.
Illustration, for example, would be talking about you wouldn’t give opera tickets to somebody who doesn’t like opera. That would be a really bad gift. That’s an illustration of the idea of great gift-giving.
Application, how does this apply to that specific person? How does this matter for their specific life?
Restatement is taking all those ideas and trying to sum it all up as best as possible.