In simple words, it’s a clever tool to make the audience understand what the brand offers in just a few sentences.

The simple and minimal use of the copy by Apple’s 1997 campaign gave way to unprecedented growth in the use of Apple products. However, it wasn’t revolutionary per se. Advertisements have been using text-based ads since the 1970s, starting with print ads in newspapers and magazines, to promote products, like television and refrigerators. The long-form and descriptive texts let the readers know the functionality of the products and how they fit right into their homes. In the tough game of technological commercials, it was important to highlight each attribute of gadgets that set them apart from the rest.

A vintage print ad

In an era of smartphones today, brands have amped up their game with the help of AI-driven imageries and beautiful close-up shots, yet texts remain an integral part of their aesthetics. The only difference is the limelight on the use of short and precise texts, that narrate the story that connects with the audience. The newer generation of audiences is those who can afford to spend on newer technologies yet have a shorter attention span owing to their busy schedules. The market is far more competitive than before and the trick is to narrate a tale within a few minutes to play to the audience’s curiosity. 

So, the question is, 

Why is text so effective in such short-timed tech ads?

Change in aesthetic

First, let’s talk a bit about the changing aesthetics of these ads. Today, the more minimal your ad is, the more memorable it becomes. When it comes to tech ads, the hero of the story is always the product. With close-up shots of gadgets highlighting their form, an advertisement can immerse the viewers into being one with the product. Here, angular lighting is important to showcase the relativity of the product with each shot and convince the audience as to why the product is “cool” for everyday use. HP ads creatively play with visual ASMR that illustrates textures, music, and clicks to convey the feel of the product even before one has the chance to use it.

A still from HP Pavilion 

Form follows function

A famous architectural quote reads, “Form follows function” and the same can be applied to advertisements too. While visuals display what the product has to offer, copy describes its functionality. After all, every tech brand wants its audiences to recognise its services. It’s this USP that allows them to tap into the competitive market. 

Apple’s Blink ad is an immersive ad that’s paired with a myriad of other visual elements such as attractive colours, beautiful fonts, and brilliant illustrations takes your ad a notch higher. Ever wondered why many tech-based ads have a lot of white and black elements and backgrounds? It is to add to the class of the products and further, using the most contrasting colours while pairing texts with background, the colour psychology simply catches the attention of the audience better.

Sometimes the idea of “tech” comes across as “serious” or “boring”, however with the use of right transitions and gamification of text, brands can narrate their stories in a more playful manner that helps them stand out. In Apple’s Blink ad, the careful and timed use of the text, “Don’t Blink” turns into a challenge

This treatment is called Kinetic typography, it’s an eye-catching treatment in text-based ads where a brand has to represent statistics and its services that need to be remembered long after the video has ended.

A still from DSProds Teaser Ad

Our script-based ad illustrates a simple conversation between a mother and a son and talks about the ease with which one of its many smart services. It reminds the audience that the brand is homely and can fit into their day-to-day lives, creating that personal touch.

Music makes everything better 

Music, yet another element, can make or break your ad. Ads that use kinetic typography rely on beats that keep the viewer pumped. This increases the anticipation of the audience who are waiting to see what else is coming. We all know that words carry a lot of weight, but when assisted with the right music and sound effects they come alive. With pauses, and reveals we build up the viewer’s anticipation and create an adrenaline-filled ad.

A still from HP ENVY

Now, let us come back to the question, “What makes texts effective in tech ads?” In simple words, it’s a clever tool to make the audience understand what the brand offers in just a few sentences. With smart transitions, catchy beats and playful colours we can effectively provide a voice to technology, as if they are narrating their own story.

Written By – Adyasha Mishra