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 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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