Nobody Reads it Anyway


Nobody Reads it Anyway

We all know it, copywriting can be hard. Coming up with catchy slogans and struggling with writer’s block for hours, it’s exhausting. Is it really worth it?

A recent study from Microsoft says we now have the attention span of 8 seconds….which is less than a goldfish. (Sad, but true.) So from an advertiser’s perspective, how do capture your part of those 8 available seconds and cut through the clutter of an over-marketed society?

The answer is easy, right? Imagery. They say pictures are worth a thousand words, so why muddy up your advertising with words when you can have an image to do it for you? Plus, the “written word is dead” or so they say. And nobody will read it anyway.

Just take a look at how the written word has changed in recent history. It went from pages of handwritten letters, to short, quick emails, to even shorter text messages and now, your text messages are now using images with emojis. Honestly, it’s a miracle you’ve made it this far in this blog.

Advertisers have made the shift as well. We used to see ads loaded with text. But that was before we could focus longer than our pet goldfish…ah the good ol’ days. There is no way you’d see an ad like that now.

Why? Because nobody reads it anyway. So is this fact or fiction? Our marketing team put this to the test to see if words really do matter. Let’s test a few examples.

First up is this city-based ad. Without the words, one could wager a guess it was about exploring the great outdoors, getting out of the city and climbing an actual mountain instead of the subway stairs. Now click over to the next slide.

Well, it’s not about vacationing at all. It’s about handicap accessibility. Those 5 words, “For some, it’s Mt. Everest” changes your complete perception of this ad. Just 5 short words and you have suddenly changed the way you interact with this ad.  

So in this case, words actually do matter.

Next up we’re taking a turn down a more serious road with this image of a young boy who has obviously been abused. It’s a super powerful image, no doubt about that. But does this image really say it all?

Put the words back in and suddenly, you find out that this boy has “his mother’s eyes.” He’s surrounded by abuse. His mother is being abused. For all we know, if we don’t do something, this child is in for a lifetime of abuse. And it’s all because of that short sentence that had the power to connect us either further with this message and even gives us the urge for action. So in this instance, it’s a good thing words matter.

Up next is a stark contrast between a lush forest and one that is barren. The image captures your attention just by seeing the two side-by-side, but what if there was a way to make this stand out even more? And what if it all it took was to add in two, clever words?

Do you see how much those words helped to get this ad noticed? Humor. Whit. Impact. You didn’t get that from just the image, did you? People might actually read this because these words are cleverly creative and effective. 

Sometimes obvious imagery can still hinder the way an ad is perceived and you run the risk of people not fully getting your point. In this ad, without the words, we can see this a smoking ad. With the play on crayons as cigarettes, maybe it means the smoking age is getting increasingly younger. Or maybe it isn’t. Without words, you are leaving this solely up to interpretation.

When you add the words back in, we see it is actually giving you a statistic for a very specific group of children who are affected by smoking. It’s speaking to a target demographic and is extremely impactful. The words and the image compliment each other beautifully in this ad.

Lastly, sometimes it’s just obvious that words make the ad. Take this ad for example. Without the words it leaves you wondering, “why the hell is a water company sponsoring a half of a bench?”.

With the words however, it connects everything perfectly. “Use only what you need.” This ad is a copywriter’s dream. Short. Relevant. Cleverly executed. What more could you ask for in an ad that is meant to get people talking?

So what did we learn from this? Give your audience more credit. And your copywriters. Words do matter, and people are going to read them. A picture isn’t worth a thousand words. In an ad, it’s worth 500, at best.

Need some help finding the perfect meaningful words for your brand? We’d love to help. Give us a shout at



Generational Marketing: Kids and Their Buying Power


Generational Marketing: Kids and Their Buying Power

The “Kid-fluence”

Have you ever thought about the purchase power that children have? We all know that once kids are in the picture, it’s ALL about them. Kids have a direct influence on where the family goes to dinner, the groceries they buy, even the vehicle that the family drives. The ‘pester power’ of a child is even stronger than the influence of parents wanting something for themselves. One marketing study even found that 52% of three-year-olds and 73% of four-year-olds often, or almost always, asked their parents for specific brands. You’ve seen it too. You are at the grocery store picking up your box of Wheaties and down just a little ways, temper-tantrum ensues when the Cap’n Crunch with Extra Berries didn’t get added to the cart. (We feel ya there, kid.)

Societal changes such as the shift of mothers working outside the home and increase in single-parent families also have given children more responsibility, and more direct-purchasing power. This influence over decision-making comes down to billions of dollars a year of ‘kid-purchase power’. In fact, the CFC reports that children under the age of 12 influence $500 billion in purchases per year. While that may seem overwhelming, there are a few tips and tricks to be successful at marketing to children.

#1 Make it Pop

It shouldn’t be as secret to anyone that kids love to be entertained. They gravitate towards anything that can hold onto their attention for more than a few minutes (and we know parents love when that happens too). To get this generation’s attention among the 30,000 advertisements they see per year, you have to be FAR from cookie-cutter.

A great way to stand out is to give them a chance to interact with your brand and, heck, even become a part of it! Target hit this bulls-eye last year with their back-to-school campaign. Who knows the mind of a kid more than a kid, right? Their commercials were directed, styled and written by kids themselves. Not only did this ad series show commercials brilliantly thought up by kids, but it shared the stories of the children who created them, providing a chance for audiences to relate to their lives.

#2 Make it Ethical

When marketing to children, it’s important to remember how impressionable they are. You don’t want to be the one responsible for corrupting future generations with your advertising tactics, or exploiting the vulnerability of children. (Or at least we desperately hope you don’t!). Marketers have the power to use their dollars to not only advertise but to teach strong lessons to children, while creating some brand awareness at the same time.

After their stint of bad publicity with food cleanliness scares, Chipotle took a stance to promote clean eating and the importance of food safety. They slyly marketed the organic nature of their food products and ingredients with the series ‘RAD Lands’. The series’ underlying message is aimed to teach kids about making healthier decisions with their diet. Making better choices about diet is a message children will hold onto and they don’t even realize they’re being taught. They learn a lesson, Chipotle gets a sale. Win-win.

#3 Create Life-long Customers

No one is born with a particular flavor for one brand over another. This is taught to them, conditioned in them by marketers. A baby doesn’t come into the world thinking that Nike brand tennis shoes are their favorite. You can beat these brands out, if you can catch the eye of the consumers during their most impressionable times. And you’ll create a customer for life at the same time.

Take lessons from the brands like Target, who let the kids take the reigns and generate their own content. Beat out these big brands and generate your own brand ambassadors from a young age. Use them in your market research, and gain and understanding of their likes and dislikes.

Being at top-of-mind awareness requires you to get on your consumers level—both physically and mentally. Know where they are, where they spend their time and the social platforms they may choose to engage on. But you need to learn to speak their language too. Your campaign is no good if you can’t talk their talk.  

Do you have a specific target market that you’re trying to reach? Give us a shout and see if we can help at!



The Ad Made Me Do it!


The Ad Made Me Do it!

In a world plastered with advertising, it’s nearly impossible to put your blinders on and not be affected by all of the promotions saturating your life on the reg. (Is that still in to say? On the reg?) Anywho, even if we think we are doing a great job of tuning out these messages, they’ve found a way to creep into our psyche.

As members of the advertising industry, of course we think we are immune to the tactics and strategies that are being fed to us daily. After all, we’ve got some skin in this game. But because we are in the business of convincing, we’re not afraid to admit the times where we too became an advertiser’s dream and allowed their ad to steer us right into a purchasing decision. Check out a few instances where we know advertising was to blame for our actions (and we did it anyway.)


I’ve always been a sucker for spokesmen. They pretty much decided which shoes I bought my entire teenage years. I still prefer Jumpman apparel to this day because it's Michael Jordan's brand.

Chris is the classic case of loving the brand because of the influencer promoting the product.



I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but most recently I fell for a late-night infomercial. I have bouts of insomnia and when I'm up I watch the most boring thing I can find on TV to help me fall asleep. I ended up seeing a very convincing infomercial for a pressure cooker— now it's my favorite appliance in my kitchen!

We would be lying if we said infomercials are not effective. Although some see infomercials as over-the-top or cheesy, there is no doubt that this As-Seen-On-TV advertising strategy can be a useful sales tool for the right kind of products.



Being a Target Cartwheel member is really tough on my self-control. Target’s email marketing promoting their weekly Cartwheel deals almost always convinces me to at least scroll through the app (and possibly make a purchase or two.) These emails are almost as dangerous and as time consuming as just walking through a Target store, which nobody has ever done without making a purchase. Ever.

Email marketing can be tricky. The biggest challenge lies in simply getting recipients to open your message once it hits their inbox. An enticing subject line can help increase your open rates so consumers get to see your products and discounts and don’t automatically go for the delete button.


The one thing that I have gotten completely sucked into buying is essential oils. I am rarely convinced by ads or commercials that I HAVE to have something, but my self control can't stand up to Nicole Jarratt. She has a way of selling me on anything and she has introduced me to the world of essential oils. Now I am completely obsessed. Whether it's ways to use them as skin products, in hot tea, as household cleaners or dry shampoo, she's always keeping me up to date with the latest oil trend.

This may not strike you as a typical advertising initiative, but word-of-mouth marketing is very real and obviously effective.  When consumers are loyal to their brand, they will shout it from the rooftops (or in today’s world, social media) to encourage their friends, family, co-workers, etc. to use the products they love.


One thing that always gets me excited is a good commercial. Specifically, GoPro ads have won me over. They always get me pumped for the products they put out and this has made me loyal to their brand.

Some ads just give you all the feels. They tap into your emotions and evoke certain feelings that get you invested and increase your desire to experience their product first hand.


Mine is more of a negative spin but I refuse to buy Charmin toilet paper. I HATE their commercials of the little animated bears going to the bathroom with the little tissue paper pieces on their butt. Some may find this cute but I find it incredibly annoying. Nobody needs to see that. Even on a cartoon bear. Call me a hater but it really creams my corn. .

A good advertisement can make a consumer loyal to your brand for a lifetime and a bad advertisement can do just the opposite. Be mindful of your target audience as you are conceptualizing your marketing pieces (and apparently think twice if you are considering using animated bears.)


I have to admit I am a sucker for the impulse stand. I walk up to the cash register thinking the items in my hand have completed my shopping trip.  I see earrings or perfume displayed right by the register and I can’t help but stop and look. (What if I’ve missed something??) It never fails that an additional item leaves the store with me as its owner.

It’s hard to resist the point of purchase displays. They are placed strategically in stores as a last chance for a retailer to get you to buy something unplanned before you go out their door, and which one of us can say they haven’t fallen victim to that new flavor of gum they’re featuring?

Have you ever done something because of a really convincing ad or promotion? Tell us about it in the comments below. No judgment here. This is a safe space. If you need help developing advertising that will be irresistible, give us a shout at!


Get to Know a Reveler: Cameron


Get to Know a Reveler: Cameron

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Cameron Duneman, Graphic Designer

1. Are you a Springfield native, or a Springfield transplant?

Springfield to the bone.

2. What attracted you to the advertising field?

Working at a design or ad agency was always a goal of mine and Revel was an awesome fit.

3. What do you love most about your job?

I love the creative atmosphere and everyone here is a blast to be around.

4. Do you have any office nicknames around the office?

I am not aware of any nicknames that I might have, but being asked this question makes me concerned there may be some I don’t know about.

5. How would your best friend describe you?

Goofy, competitive, respectful

6. Tell us a unique fact about yourself that few people would know.

I coach basketball in a rec league for 8-9 year olds and it’s a lot of fun, even though they can be a little crazy sometimes.

7. What food do you crave most?

Seafood, sushi, etc.

8. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

If being a talented singer was a skill you could learn, I would definitely pick that.

9. What is your favorite book of all time?

I very much enjoy the Harry Potter series.

10. Do you have any special (or strange) talents?

For some reason I do random things left handed, like use silverware.

11. If you had to choose a theme song for your life, what would it be?

“Vacation” – Sam Hunt

12. If you could meet anyone – living or dead – who would you choose?

William Clark and/or Abe Lincoln

13. The title of your personal autobiography would be:

You Probably Aren’t Saying My Last Name Right

14. If Revel were an animal, what would it be and why?

A purple ram, because purple rams are awesome.

15. Leave us with your favorite quote:

“The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint. The greats were great cause they paint a lot.” –Macklemore


The ADDYs are Forever


The ADDYs are Forever

The annual American Advertising Awards, known as the ADDYs, is the advertising industry’s largest competition. This competition exists to recognizes and rewards the creative spirit of excellence in the art of advertising.

On February 25th, members of the Revel team traveled down to Joplin, Missouri to attend the regional ADDY awards. The regional awards are the first of three tiers to the ADDYs, followed by the district and national levels.

This year’s theme was “ADDYs are Forever” and celebrated a year of innovation in designs which could stand the test of time.

Revel won a total of seven awards, including three Gold awards and the coveted Best in Show Award, bringing our total number of ADDYs to 44! Below is a snapshot of the work that was recognized at this year’s regional ADDYs.


Excel Dental’s Direct Mail Campaign

Category: Direct Mail Campaign

Created for: Excel Dental

Excel Dental, located in Ozark, Missouri has been working with Revel for many years on their strategic advertising initiatives. A part of those plans included a quarterly direct mail campaign that was sent to households in the Ozark area with a coupon for new clients. The design of each mailer changed quarterly to highlight different seasonal events that were reasons to smile: graduations, weddings, holidays, etc.

Bear Village Lifestyle Video

Category: Film/Video/Sound Branded Content, More Than :60 Seconds

Created for: Bear Village

Additional Credits: Canvas Media Group, Video Production

Bear Village was looking to showcase the lifestyle of residents on their campus and the best way to do so is through video. Revel developed a concept for that video that showed high-paced action shots of residents living at Bear Village and taking full advantage of the amenities that are at their fingertips.

Safe and Sober Holiday Card

Category: Public Service Brand Elements

Created for: Missouri Safe and Sober

Missouri Safe and Sober is an alcohol and drug prevention program for high schools and middle schools throughout the state. To promote their program to schools they are not currently in, and to send extra bonus material to those they currently work with, Revel took this advertisement for a free download of a program video and turned it into a modern take on the traditional holiday card. 

GLO Digital Ad Campaign & Video

Category: Online/Interactive Campaign

Created for: The Gay & Lesbian Center of the Ozarks (GLO)

Additional Credits: Blend, Video Production

The GLO Center received funding for advertising and came to Revel for guidance on a campaign. Revel developed a brand awareness campaign, donating all of their marketing and creative services so GLO could best utilize their dollars for media placement. The center of this campaign was an interview-style video featuring really members of the GLO Center telling their stories and how a resource like GLO is so vital to our community. We used display ads to push out the video and message and all was tied together using #IAmGLO.



These projects will be moving on to the district ADDY competition announced on March 24th.

Mother’s Packaging

Category: Packaging Campaign

Created for: Mother's Brewing Company

Additional Credit to Kendra Miller, Illustrator

One of Springfield’s local breweries, Mother’s Brewing Company was looking to refresh their flagship beers. Revel worked with the staff at Mother’s and a local illustrator, Kendra Miller, to develop a grid-based design that incorporated a one-of-a-kind illustration that told the story behind each brew. 


Springfield Regional Economic Partnership Website

Category: Business-to-Business Website

Created for: Springfield Regional Economic Partnership

The Springfield Regional Economic Partnership (SREP) embarked on a brand refresh last year that was routed in a new website, complete with updated information about the Springfield region for business executives, location scouts and individuals looking to relocate themselves or their business to the area. Revel re-designed their website, updated content and created a better user experience for visitors.


Youth in Pursuit of Awakening (YIPOA) Sales Kit

Category: Public Service Brand Elements

Created for: Youth In Pursuit Of Awakening (YIPOA)

Youth In Pursuit Of Awakening (YIPOA) is a local non-profit currently working to raise money for their extreme sports complex designed for teenagers and families in the community that will draw people to a relationship with Jesus Christ. They were in need of an impressive sales kit they could present to potential donors at a certain level and above. The vibrant booklet walked through the vision and purpose of the complex and was placed in a custom wooden box with their logo cut into the cover.