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Advertisers: show us what you’re made of

You can reach a knowledge-rich, time-poor audience, says architect Luke Butcher. Just keep imagery clean, tell a story - and include one little extra

'What works so nicely with the Renolit campaign is that the images tell a story,' says architect Luke Butcher. 'They show an achievement as a result of the product or service being used.'
'What works so nicely with the Renolit campaign is that the images tell a story,' says architect Luke Butcher. 'They show an achievement as a result of the product or service being used.'

The average person sees up to 5,000 advertisements a day, according to research. This might be a rather general statistic, but it is one that raises a key question: how can advertisers cut through the noise and effectively reach their target audience?

In the case of advertising to architects, we have a knowledge-rich, time-poor audience who probably spend even less time dwelling on advertising than the general population that this research was based on. The task is not just cutting through the noise, but informing an intelligent audience within that window of opportunity.

Marchitect sat down with Luke Butcher from award-winning practice Butcher Bayley Architects (BBA) to discuss why his favourite advertising campaign works.

'Consistency is key,' says Butcher. 'One of the most effective ad campaigns I’ve seen recently has to be by Renolit, the thermoplastic film manufacturer. If you look at their series of adverts, you’ll notice they follow a theme with one complementing the other. This is a really effective way of enabling something to stick in our minds. I think some companies vary their adverts too much, which makes it hard to determine which brand it belongs to.'

Keep it clean, says Butcher: 'The use of clear, concise imagery within adverts makes it easy to understand what's being advertised and doesn't draw attention away from the main point.'

  • 'Consistency is key,' says Butcher. Renolit's series follows a theme with one ad complementing the next. As a result, we remember them.
    'Consistency is key,' says Butcher. Renolit's series follows a theme with one ad complementing the next. As a result, we remember them.
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And it’s not just clean imagery that's important, but the subject of the imagery too. 'What works so nicely with the Renolit campaign is that the images tell a story,' says Butcher. 'They show an achievement as a result of the product or service being used - not just a product in isolation. And just as I have to show drawings to clients of the final product in order to inspire them and for them to choose me to work on their project, so the same should apply to advertisers.'

Butcher singles out one improvement he would make: adding a testimonial to the creative. 'It’s always good to see an endorsement from a fellow professional,' he says. 'I take advertising claims with a pinch of salt, but a testimonial from a fellow RIBA architect is more likely to convince me of a product or service's quality.' 

For more information on how RIBA Journal can help you reach architects, please email our advertisement manager Richard Tomlin or call him on  +44 (0)20 7496 8329.

Sam Hiner is an account manager at Ridgemount PR

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