Putting a burst on a print ad is one thing but to let the burst take over the entire layout is somewhat nausiating. Don’t get me wrong, bursts have their place in the advertising world – seen in the early 20’s, they emphasized elements that veiwers would otherwise miss. “Free item with every order” or “Buy Now” and the list goes on. The only thing is, once you put one in an advertisement and see results, advertisers think (in my opinion) won’t let go of them and in fact will insist every ad have one.
Bursts should be used as much as once per every couple of weeks. The offer should be strong enough to get the viewer to act on it. Advertising is likened to an introduction and an open communication to potential customers. Bursts are just a splash of emphasis that sale driven ads should use sparingly. If you need to add a burst, add it to the right hand side of the page and use a reverse in black and white formats or primary colors in process color. I would avoid using bursts near your logo and company information unless you’re advertising a new location opening. Drop shadow effects can be used but again, sparingly – with black and white print the effect sometimes comes out less than perfect because of the process used to print. Using a gradient in a burst is also something I would discouraged because of two reasons: newsprint process doesn’t print these very well and such styles are likened to car ads and the 80’s.
Before you ad bursts to your advertising, layout your ad on paper. Allow space for your headline, copy, logo and company information and then see if your ad really needs to have a burst added or if another element could be used instead. (I’ll have a couple of samples up in the next day or so. )
If you need further information on what’s being discussed or would like a consultation on your current ad campaign, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be happy to help you.