As a freelance content provider, over the years I’ve developed strong opinions about the advertorial — I know what works and what doesn’t; I know when it can be effective and when it’s not the right medium for the message.
Here’s a case when it’s the right call. Martin Audio is a high-end professional pro audio company based in England, and they have created an amazing system in the MLA. (How high end? Let’s just say you won’t be picking these up for your local hi-fi store any time soon.)
I worked with the client and configured the layout, picked the images, and conducted fresh interviews that were included up the testimonials (more on this in a moment). Usually less is more, but on something like this, that is really aimed at a narrow but extremely important audience, a lot of information should be provided, and a call to action for the potential client to get even more information.
When faced with a challenge like this, rather than rely solely on the information provided by the client, I like to ask, “who is using and loving your product?” That peer-to-peer recommendation is increasingly important across the today’s social media environment, and it’s making it more so in print pieces. Notice in addition to shots of festivals, I included shots of the people using this amazing new sound system. It makes it all the more real. (Speaking of social media, I will recommend that parts of this be used in all the client’s social media platforms in small pieces over the next year and maybe even beyond.)
And of course there’s that first page … Steely Dan in concert. They are well-known for their reputation of incredible high standards, and while I could have put a bunch of acts on this page (they are listed on page four), I wanted to send a message that this is a prestige system that only the best of the best want to use.
It’s more copy-heavy then I would typically recommend, but again, the stakes are high as is the thirst for technical information, which brings me to my final point: No matter what the medium, before I write a word I always work to understand the mindset of the audience, and never waiver from keeping what he and she want to learn from the well-placed advertorial.