Glidden Color Beast

If This Terrible Ad Sold 2 Cans of Paint, I Would Be Shocked

As I was working earlier this week, I came across this sad little ad that’s pitching Glidden paint.

Glidden Color Beast

The ad says: “Picking a color can be a real beast. We’ll help you tame it.” The call to action is: “Roll Over for More”

This ad is a disaster. Here’s why…

First of all, do that many people really struggle to pick a paint color for their walls?

Walk into any Home Depot or Lowes in the U.S. and you can walk out with dozens or even hundreds of paint chips to help you pick a color. It’s not that hard, really, unless you’re simply an indecisive person.

So Glidden is trying to solve a problem that, in my view, doesn’t really exist.

That’s the first problem.

The second problem is the copy tries to be clever… and fails badly. What does it even mean to “tame it” — that is, “tame the picking a color beast?”

It’s just so scary to pick a color… tame the color beast for me! Ahhhh!

Or something like that.

The third big problem with the ad is the call to action. “Roll Over for More”… more what? This is not widely used language. It’s confusing.

Do I roll over for more treats… or belly scratches?

They could have at the very least put “Information” at the end of their CTA.

But why not just be direct about it? “Click Here for More Information” – that makes sense and is easily understood.

Anyway, I see all kinds of advertisements — good and bad — every day. This one stood out to me as being unusually bad.

Glidden would have been much better off using a direct approach that called out the unique competitive advantages of their paint. But I suppose that’d be too easy.

Not to mention, Glidden may still be measuring their ad’s results in “eyeballs” instead of dollars. In which case, I’ve already boosted the effectiveness of this ad quite a bit by borrowing your eyeballs for a couple minutes.

You’re welcome, Glidden.

-Ryan M. Healy

P.S. As David Hunter noted in the comments below, Glidden’s ad doesn’t even mention the word PAINT! So Glidden is making the (very big) assumption that you will know that they are a paint company. Without that information, the ad could be talking about “crayons, colored paper, socks”… just about anything!

Ryan M. Healy

Ryan Healy is a financial copywriter and the author of Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like WordStream.com, SmallBizClub.com, and MarketingForSuccess.com.

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