Do “Long Headlines” Work on TV?

With the Internet and all the online marketing talk going around, it seems that the fun has been taken out of writing short, punchy headlines. There was a time, once, when writing silly headlines was the “in” thing. Then there were those surreal headlines that left everyone scratching their heads and consulting their oracles. Then along came the Internet with its “This is not a headline that works unless it occupies a significant amount of white space and tells you the whole story” type of headlines.

Actually, long headlines do work, online. But I saw a long headline on a TV commercial recently. Very interesting. The ad was running on television, so it was a short, 30 sec commercial. Half of that was a headline, in text that asked: “Would you like to Quit Your Job and still live comfortably for one year?” I cannot remember the full thing, but that was the gist of it. I was caught by “Would you like to quit your job…” But I thought nothing of it till it flashed a second time: “Would you like to Quit Your Job and live comfortably for one year, and enjoy caviar everyday?”

I, of course answered, “Hell, yes!”

Reality’s a bitch. I don’t like caviar. But then, I realised that for the first time in quite a while, I actually noticed a TV commercial that was neither funny, fun, quirky, high octane or contained any of those fancy stuff.

So, as I thought about the significance of this insignificant moment in my life, I realised one thing – long headlines DO work.

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