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Marketing Takes on The Chicken and the Egg

The question that lingers for anyone in the marketing industry: What's more important in an ad: the copy or the graphic?

That question is the Mad Men’s version of the chicken and the egg. If asked in a creative department, copywriters would argue that without good copy, the ad is baseless. However, advertisers and their creative accomplices would argue that without an excellent ad graphic, the copy would not matter. In the complex of the chicken and the egg, the obvious (or not) answer is that: the graphic edged the copy out with the more critical component. However, to not offend fellow copywriters, the two must work in harmonious unison for success.

As you think about developing an ad for your company, you must give equal thought to your ad’s graphic and copy. It is key to understand that the cohesive relationship between the two will create a good ad. Without crisp graphics and great, well-written copy, an ad is worth nothing.

When looking at your ad, here are 5 top things to look at and check for in your graphic and copy.


1. Is your graphic modern? Interesting?

2. Are the colors easy on the eyes and professional? 

3. Where is your ad being seen? Are the proportions right?

4. What copy is on it, and is that copy important to the ad’s success?

5. Does the ad have meaning and communication qualities that your company aligns with still?


1. Are there grammatical errors or too much jargon on the ad?

2. Was the ad’s copy written for the layman to understand?

3. Are there pronouns that may limit the customer's acceptance of the ad?

4. How is the ad sitting in society? Who is it targeting, and why?

5. Is the ad’s copy relevant still? If not, what could you do to the text to fix that issue?

As you can see, there are lots of dynamic relationships between a graphic and copy in an ad. If you can identify weaknesses within your ad and flip those weaknesses to strengths, the same ad can go from weak to powerful. If you have an ad with sloppy graphics or dull copy, contact The Dillon Ross Group and let’s have a conversation and identify what can make it better.

What came first, the chicken or the egg? Oh wait--it doesn’t matter.


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