Friday, 7 November 2014

What we can learn from Where's Wally?

Creating something people will actively look at and respond to is what drives the communications we produce as fundraisers, and that is why 'Where's Wally' can offer such inspiration.  Mainly because that is the main point.  Visually arresting scenes, where readers scour the pages in pursuit of an array of characters as well as Wally (a traveller with a penchant for red and white stripes and bobble hats), while taking in the visual puns and humour that entertains us.

So relevance to us as fundraisers?  One is around the truth that very few supporters will be compelled to read our communications and if they do, not in same detail and possibly with the same level of interest or purpose.

Engagement with communications is easier if the format suits the audience and not the designer - finding Wally is much easier when you have the bigger books for example.

There's nothing wrong with repetitiveness of either the story or the ask within it. Where's Wally has been around since 1987, it's ultimately the same thing but in different contexts, yet it still doesn't get old.  The important things is relevance to the person reading.

On the other side of this though, is some of the things that are inherent in the success of Where's Wally, which we should try to avoid.

The characters are intentionally hidden and obscured, the challenge is to find them.  This is the opposite of what your copy and design needs to. Too clever, and you lose people. Too complicated people will not persevere to understand what you are saying. So be clear on the following:

Why are you writing now?
What are you asking them to do - exactly?
If it's money you are asking for it, then ask!

On this point Where's Wally is clear, you need to find him and his friends. Simple. And there is a lot to be said for it.  Now back to Wally, I am sure I saw woof's tail somewhere...

Thanks as ever for stopping by.

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