When working 'snob appeal' into marketing materials, tread carefully

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When working 'snob appeal' into marketing materials, tread carefully
When working 'snob appeal' into marketing materials, tread carefully
Sometimes, snobbery sells. People don't buy a BMW 700 series automobile because they think it's a superior car. They buy it because it appeals to their inner snob. But, when BMW creates promotional materials, it makes sure to differentiate between the product and the promotion. In other words, it makes sure the promotional material is accessible prospective customers. After all, how can you hook someone with snob appeal if people can't understand the promotion?

Recently, a seafood grill near my home changed owners. Despite the fact that people are fleeing expensive restaurants and flocking to cheap ones, the new owners apparently decided to use a snob appeal to promote their new business.  

The picture shows an ad they ran in a coupon booklet mailed to upscale homes in the area, including mine. From the new name, Bel-Lago, to the parchment background to the sealing wax graphic, the ad screams “Attention snobs!”

Unfortunately, the ad is not accessible. The type on the front of the coupon is in an utterly illegible script. I'm staring at it right now and can barely read it. It's making some sort of analogy about a “recipe” for a good restaurant. So even if I could read it, I don't think it actually says anything. If you take the time to look at the back of the coupon, the type is small, but legible. However, the offer is for a free cup of soup or a petite salad. Really? I can have a whole “cup” of soup? For free?

Then there's more copy about how wonderful the restaurant is and, only near the end, mentions that they serve Italian and American food. It's too late, of course, because no one will read that far.

Again, snob appeal is fine. But you can't allow your ads or promotional materials to get so snobby that they're inaccessible to the people you want to attract. You have to share relevant information. The materials must be legible. And your offer must be appealing. Make the product snobby if that's your selling strategy. But don't make your ads snobby to the point of ignoring basic copy and design rules.

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