If copywriters were paid by the word, they’d be hard up these days. Long-copy ads have become increasingly rare. Even the conventional headline is falling into abeyance, often replaced by a glorified photo caption. Quantum’s new campaign defies this trend. Not content to give us a real headline and lengthy body copy, it even starts out with an introductory text above the headline. In some categories, such loquaciousness would be too much of a good thing. But it works when an ad is talking to people about a hobby that’s part of the way they define themselves. The copy here is suitably informational. “For baitcast, we upgraded our exclusive ACSII centrifugal braking system from 6 to 9 brakes for the ultimate control.” Your eyes and my eyes may glaze over at a sentence like that, but it’s poetry for Quantum’s target audience. The usual distinction between an image ad and a product ad breaks down in a case like this. For fishing enthusiasts, allusions to reel lubrication and lure presentation are just the thing to create a compelling brand image. Readers may be less taken with the extended joke about the torments to which Quantum engineers subject themselves in perfecting their products—an obsession “that borders on deviant behavior.” When the copy tells us that “from pain comes pleasure,” it sounds more like ad-speak than fisherman-speak.

Gabriel deGrood Bendt, Minneapolis

Quantum division of Zebco Corp., Tulsa, Okla.

Creative directors
Doug deGrood
Tom Gabriel

Art director
Pete Winecke

Jeff Schuller

Print producer
Amy Bacskai

Russ Norman

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