Saturday, March 01, 2014

J.P. Instruments “EDM-900” & The I-E-E-O Checklist

In a magazine alongside advertisements from Aspen Avionics and BendixKing, the J.P. Instruments (JPI) “EDM-900” effort, like that funky little airplane you’ll find at every airport, is visually a “whole other can of worms.”  The shame is there is plenty of potential in the presented material if JPI applied the I-E-E-O (Interrupt, Engage, Educate, and Offer) checklist toward creating a successful advertisement.

The overall look of the “EDM-900” advertisement itself serves as the primary Interrupt in much the same way a burst of static on the radio interrupts the quiet of flight, or multiple pilots keying their radios simultaneously results in a noisy mess.  The issue is that the reader’s eye does not know where to focus on this advertisement. Thus, the easiest thing to do is to turn the page (in spite of the hard-earned money JPI spent on placing the advertisement in front of the reader).

Think about this from the reader’s point of view.  Should you look at the product, the little disconnected green fuel pump handle floating in the sky, the fading into gray model number and the tiny “Engine Analyzer” text that serves as the headline, or maybe the variety of red or yellow text highlights?  Geez!  It is exhausting just describing it all.

Ok, cutting to the I-E-E-O checklist chase, this advertisement simply fails on the Interrupt, Engage, and Educate parts of the advertising process.  However, there are a lot of great nuggets to be mined here for a future series of advertisements that could be useful in creating a unique market position for JPI.  The built in America theme, the fuel saving storyline, the more than 1,000 aircraft STC approval point, the no panel rework advantage, and the proven data recording ability, are all examples of different elements around which JPI could build an excellent advertising message.  These are messages that can capture a reader’s attention and help to differentiate JPI from the Aspen and BendixKing advertisements a reader will find in the same magazine.

And just to be clear, the fact that a lot of text is presented in this advertisement is not the core problem.  If you have successfully interrupted and engaged a reader, they will invest their time to read about and educate themselves as to the product story.  However, it has to be a story; not just a list of bullet points in a difficult to read typestyle. Imagine a conversation as a list of bullets with a bad accent.  It is not much fun. Trapped participants usually cannot wait to leave.

Lastly, the JPI “EDM-900” advertisement simply fails on the Offer section of the checklist. There is no offer of a low-risk next step for the reader to take to learn more about or to buy JPI products.  Yes, there is a web address, which one might suggest is an offer, but the link is literally buried at the end of a tiny mouse-type line of 21 numbers, 7 dashes, 2 commas and a colon.

Sorry, JPI.  This advertisement needs to be grounded as inoperative.  Start again and use the I-E-E-O checklist to fly right with success.

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