Thursday, October 8, 2009

A darn good question

This headline from this 1969 ad is surprisingly effective in stopping the reader, even after all these years.

Usually, when advertising poses a question, the answer is obvious. Not this one:


An intriguing question, with no clear answer. When you're talking cranium protection for pro football players, we know the stakes are high. And likening the construction of football helmet to a that of a hair dryer is a dramatic comparison.

But what answer are they hinting at? There are two possibilities:
1) That competitive helmets are made of a plastic material more suitable for hair dryers and that the one being advertised here is much stronger; or

2) That the helmet being sold here is amazingly impact-resistant, given that it's made from the same material as women's hair dryers.
Here's the entire ad:


Even if your eye jumps down to the "Deacon does." subhead, I'll bet most readers took a few seconds to scan the copy for details like these:
...all the NFL teams trust the same material...CYCOLAC Brand ABS, a tough, hard rigid thermoplastic...the same plastic specified by major appliance manufacturers...it can take the brutal punishment of head butts, cleat kicks and earth slams...
...and that's just at the beauty parlor! (RIMSHOT!)

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