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“Watering down a rich message with weak copy”

Wolf Blass's mailer, which came in the door the other day, is pretty slick in design and well written inside, but the cover copy is a disaster. It's one of those page-turner things, with a snippet of a tagline on the cover and the "..." meant to lead you on to where the next bit is. The problem is, where does the next bit go when you've got flaps in the format?"

In English, we read from left to right, top to bottom so when we read the words ‘to grow…’ on the cover, we will open the flyer and tend automatically to finish the sentence with whatever we find on the top left side of the next page and carry on from there.

Following this standard progression, we end up with a confusing sentence floating about in our heads - ‘to grow…it’s the little things…we keep things small’. This ruins the brochure.

Opening the flyer fully and examining carefully, you can decipher two separate sentences that actually make some sense.

“To grow…we keep things small”

and

“It’s the little things…that make a world of difference”

The main body copy is fine, but the cover copy doesn’t do it justice. Even when you can read it smoothly, ‘To grow we keep things small’ is not the most captivating notion in the world in the context of the advertisement. They do mention using smaller barrels to age their wine and ‘smaller parcels of grapes’, but on the whole it seems like this text was contrived to support an unsuitable caption, instead of the other way round, as it should be.

In a book on copywriting, Dominic Gettins advised - “The point of a finished ad is to spring forth everything of importance on you in a compact manner, that, like a punch in the face, requires no footnotes. What it isn’t designed to do is give you clues as to how it was produced.”

As one of the more successful names in the industry, it’s also hard to swallow the idea that Wolf Blass have kept much about their operation small.

The second header is really far better, instantly suggesting expertise and attention to detail: the very qualities we would like to find in the wine makers we choose to buy from.

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