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Creating a Library Ad

October 21, 2010

If you’ve been following, I have been working on an ad for NEIU’s library to run in the university newspaper. It is down to two final ads (one is posted below). I’d like to share my steps/tools, because it is really, really easy to create a simple ad.

1) Think about WHAT you want your ad to do.  Change patron’s perspective? Increase usage of newly purchased e-books?

2) Consider your audience.  WHO are they, and WHAT will they respond to?

3) Create a template. Not having a background in advertising, I went to About.com for quick set of guidelines in creating my ad.  They argue:

When readers look at your ad what do they see first? Research indicates that readers typically look at:

  1. Visual
  2. Caption
  3. Headline
  4. Copy
  5. Signature (Advertisers name, contact information)

in that order.

4) Insert content

Working with the above model, I used Gimp, an open-source image editing program, in order to layout my ad.  If you don’t have Gimp, you should download it right now.  If you have ever used Photoshop, they have Gimpshop, a version of Gimp with a photo-shop like interface that is very easy to use.  If you haven’t worked with image editing software, there are plenty of online tutorials to get you started.

5) edit, use, reuse

I used images from the web in my template (later replacing them with photos I took) and worked with a librarian to tweak the particular wording.  We wanted “Ask a librarian” to be the focus of the ad because of their “Ask a librarian” SMS reference feature on their website.  Also, the text emphasizes that librarians are both resources and people. The text “primary sources” and “peer-reviewed articles” are two terms that are confusing to many students at the library.  These can be changed to “paper due?” or “MLA bibliography?” or something towards the end of the semester. Remember to use words that make sense for the types of assignments students will be working with at that time of year.  If you are in a public library, you can use all sorts of timely terms: voter registration, summer reading, DYI gifts for the holidays… the possibilities are only limited by what your library can offer.

confused "college student"

Primary sources? Peer-reviewed articles? HUH?

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