The Mario Blog
07.25.2008—7am
Teasers and Promos: make them attractive and direct

TAKEAWAY: Teasers and promos serve a unique purpose: to seduce readers into inside content. Use them functionally, avoid decoration, and make them colorful.

blog post image

blog post image

One never knows what the day will bring. For me today it has been a main focus on teasers and/or promo boxes. Regardless of what you call them, these are important elements of a good navigational system for page one.

Three important ingredients of effective promos are: variety, brevity and content.

The verdict is out on the true impact of promos in generating street sales. However, one thing is for sure: promos with well written, enticing headlines that pull the reader in, DO contribute to readers stopping the extra ten seconds to look at page one. I always mention that seduction of readers is NOT limited to inviting street sales (although nobody is opposed to selling more newspapers). A newspaper must pass the coffee table and the kitchen counter test. When that teaser stops me on my way to a second cup of coffee, it has done its job.

What works the magic?

A good headline (good story inside), and a graphic element with impact.

THREE QUICK TIPS:
Variety—-within a given space and architecture, develop various versions for promos; sometimes three items, other times one, or two. If the same number of items appears daily, readers become numb to these promos. Surprise me!

Wording: Write headlines that make the promo irresistible. Saying Movie Reviews on Page 7 is not as seductive as “The Dark Knight: Ledger Steals the Show”

Brevity: Readers will spend a second or two processing information in promos (as confirmed by Poynter’s EyeTrack research at least twice). Visuals should be tightly cropped, incorporating easily recognized faces and items. Photos that need to be studied for meaning do not belong in a promo box.

STYLES OF PROMOS:
Promos may run horizontally or vertically.
Promos may appear above the flag of the newspaper or below (your preference). There is no research to indicate the benefit of one placement over the other. However, the key is to have graphic elements.
Promos with only words do not fare as well as those that include headlines and images.
Promos that use color attract more attention.
Promos need a sense of hierarchy: if three items appear in the promo, give one larger size, more color.

WHERE IS MARIO? In Miami, enjoying my mother’s Cuban cuisine, including her unique flan with shredded coconut on top, then running through the peaceful environs of Coral Gables’ Country Club Prado to burn the calories.

Blog Post11.21.2017—1am
So 2017 was really NOT the year of video……
Blog Post11.20.2017—1am
The New York Times: the Spanish weekly
Blog Post11.17.2017—5am
Paywalls, storytelling highlight Latin American conference
Blog Post11.15.2017—5am
In Argentina: the hot topic is “paywalls”
Blog Post11.14.2017—1am
The NY Times’ Jobs Classified: Really?
Blog Post11.13.2017—1am
At The New York Times: a kids section on Sunday
Blog Post11.10.2017—12am
“I read it on Facebook.”
Blog Post11.09.2017—12am
The flow of a breaking new story in the mobile era
Blog Post11.08.2017—12am
When content hits the spot
Blog Post11.07.2017—12am
When hierarchy makes a statement
Blog Post11.06.2017—12am
When the advertising wraps around
Blog Post11.03.2017—1am
New Hebrew fonts from Typotheque
Blog Post11.02.2017—1am
Favorite branding logos? No surprises
Blog Post11.01.2017—7am
A New York terrorist attack on the front pages
Blog Post—1am
White (space) is the new trend for print
Blog Post10.31.2017—1am
Turkey: the jailing of an art director
Blog Post10.30.2017—1am
Need a job?
Blog Post10.27.2017—2am
The Economist & Snapchat Discover: Respecting young audiences
Blog Post10.26.2017—2am
The Wall: Get ready for the prototypes
Blog Post10.25.2017—5am
The New York Times’ website redesign: less is best and, please, sign in
Blog Post10.24.2017—5am
At The Washington Post, The Lily hits its own chords
Blog Post—5am
The Lily: new Washington Post product hits its own chords
Blog Post10.23.2017—1am
Coloring opinions
Blog Post10.20.2017—1am
Digital Media Conference: First Day highlights
Blog Post10.19.2017—6am
Speaking today at the North America Digital Media Conference
Blog Post10.18.2017—1am
Long narratives still have a coveted place
Blog Post10.17.2017—1am
Some good print-related news
Blog Post10.16.2017—1am
Digital Transformation: no newsroom is too small to attempt it
Blog Post10.13.2017—12am
WAN IFRA: the best of digital awards
Blog Post10.12.2017—12am
Taking your brand to where the young audience is: Instagram
Blog Post10.11.2017—1am
Multitaskers consume more media
Blog Post10.10.2017—12am
Germany’s Sūdkurier: workshops for digital transformation
Blog Post10.09.2017—1am
In Spain’s El Mundo: native ads
Blog Post09.29.2017—1am
For newspaper publishers, not much to sing about?
Blog Post09.28.2017—1am
Interesting reference about new digital story formats
Blog Post09.27.2017—1am
It’s a new mobile-focused redesign for salon.com
Blog Post09.26.2017—1am
Three things that caught our eye
Blog Post09.25.2017—1am
Paywalls & newspapers: from leaky to hard ones, and in between
Blog Post09.22.2017—4am
Mexican earthquake: front pages tell the story
Blog Post09.21.2017—1am
Saying adios to The Village Voice in print
Contact us with speaking requests, questions or to discuss a project.