Utilize the Power of Words

I’m going to be reviewing three ads placed in the Rutgers University Daily Targum student newspaper. These ads were placed by three different student organizations in hopes of receiving feedback in some way, shape, or form.


First there is the ad at the right.

In terms of grabbing attention, this ad succeeds in stopping the reader’s eye from turning the page. The large block letters paired with the powerful word, “WANTED” are surefire winners. However, my question remains, what exactly is the Referendum? Perhaps I’ve been living under a rock for the past four years but I’m not sure what the Referendum is and if I don’t know then there have got to be more students who don’t know. If the point of this advertisement is to persuade someone to apply for the position, they must know what type of organization the position is for.

Another question I have is, are they looking for an undergraduate student or a professional person to be the coordinator? It isn’t clear in the ad and that may deter potential candidates.

Stating the “why” in this ad would significantly contribute to it’s ability to attract candidates and therefore be worth the cost. Why work for the Referendum? What’s in it for you? What kinds of opportunities could it lead to? Etc…

ImageThen there is the ad to the left.

Here we have a class involvement ad. Right off the bat you have your who, what, when, where, and how. The “why” is somewhat vague, but present.

Who: YOU!

What: Master’s HRM Open House

When/Where: (see photo)

How: Attend the meeting

Why: One might say, attend the meeting in order to learn about the nation’s top HR programs. This could be a solid answer because if the goal, or the “why,” of the Master’s HRM program is to prepare students for a career in Human Resource Management, then attending an event like this could contribute to their success.

They also do a good job at emphasizing the convenience of the event taking place at Rutgers University. They are proving to their potential attendees:

We care about your time and access so, for your convenience, we are bringing the resources to you!

While the “why” isn’t overtly stated, it is definitely portrayed in the ad.

ImageLast, I decided to take a look at an ad that appears every day in the Targum.

This ad makes the assumption that students viewing it are aware of what the Telefund does. It is asking students to join a team whose “why” isn’t obvious.

They do succeed in communicating why students should join: fun atmosphere, flexible hours, etc. But just like in the Referendum example, it doesn’t say what students will get out of working for the Telefund team besides a pay check and a resume builder.

The ad is convincing, for sure. They absolutely sell the job. But if the goal is to communicate their “why” then it isn’t quite all there. I would suggest putting a few words at the beginning to say, “Join the RU Telefund Team! Reach out to the community on behalf of RU!” -or something along those lines.

As a journalism and media studies major, I must say that with the rapidly increasing demand for online content like videos and podcasts, print advertisements have the extreme disadvantage of physical space. In papers, you have to pay for space or size. But the internet is limitless and a video can be as long as you need it to. Organizations should reconsider traditional print ads and utilize the capabilities they DO have in print: words!

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