“IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO CREATE A ‘BRAND’ OR A LASTING MESSAGE OR IMPRESSION ABOUT YOUR DOG (OR ANY ‘PRODUCT’) PRINT ADS HAVE PROVEN TIME AND AGAIN TO BE THE BEST WAY TO DO THIS.”
What do you want your audience to know about this dog; i.e. that he’s #1 in the country, cleared for knees, hearts and eyes, youngest to ever win a national specialty, available at stud, etc? • Use high-quality, true-to-life photos. Make sure your photo is at least 300dpi and shows your dog at a flat- tering angle. Small technical flaws in the photograph can be photo- shopped, but never at the expense of altering the true look of your dog. You want your dog to wow fellow exhibitors and judges when seen in person and not be a big let-down from an artificially created illusion of them. • While it’s important to have a con- sistent look and feel for your ads as far as stylistic elements, remember to mix up the photos and layout from time to time. Stacked show photos can become boring. A beautiful candid shot can really let your peers and judges see the dog’s natural expression. If you want the dog and its handler to be recog-
nized as a team, be sure to include photos of the dog and handler together. Don’t always use the stan- dard layout of a headline at the top of the page, show picture in the middle, and boilerplate language at the bottom. Create visual interest by making the reader’s eye move across the page in different ways. Make them want to stop and study your ad. • Don’t over-do it! This is one of the most important pieces of advice I can share. It’s tempting to use too many photos, too much copy or over-the-top, hyperbolic words when describing your dogs. Remember the old saying “less is more.” Make your words count, and don’t inundate the reader with too many superlatives when describing your dog, their win or the competi- tion they defeated. There is a fine line between a humble “brag” and obnoxious boasting. Not every win was accomplished by “beating top specials” or under the country’s most esteemed judge. Choose your
words wisely or after a while they will become only so much back- ground noise. • Recognizing judges: Please respect the judge(s) by mentioning them by name (spelled correctly please!) and extending your thanks. Remember, the thank you is not because the judge “gave” you or your dog the win. The appreciation is for their hard work and dedication in honor of our sport and for their upholding and recognizing the breed standard. CREATING YOUR BRAND Print advertising creates a perma- nent record of your message that can be accessed over and over again by multiple people. If you are looking to create a “brand” or a lasting mes- sage or impression about your kennel, dog, or any “product,” print ads have proven time and again to be the best way to do this. Take your time to place clear and compelling ads on a regular basis and you will be surprised at the positive results.
72 • T op N otch T oys , J anuary 2017
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