Flipping through the latest issue of ComputerWorld, I recently noticed a cool ad for Ontario, Canada (my apologies for the poor quality below, but it is the best I can find online):

I was initially critical of the ad from a creative perspective (I thought it could have been more clear at first glance what the ad was for...it took me a while for my attention to be drawn to the image, which seems too small, or to the bottom left hand corner). A different way to approach the ad could have been for a larger image of the globe in the middle (and more attention drawn to the Ontario, Canada region). The different copy areas could have been reduced to quick one-liners..."Lower Taxes than United States", "Most Educated Workforce in G7", "More Accessible R&D Resources". And the copy could have lines or shapes drawing the reader to the website. Making these changes would make the audience more likely to visit the website (and follow what appears to be the short-term call to action).

The website mentioned in the ad (yournextbigidea.ca) also doesn't do the best job at identifying itself as being for Ontario, Canada. But the content on the website is well laid out, and I think has the right amount of detail to keep a reader interested (as opposed to encouraging them to leave for a different website). Unfortunately, this site does a terrible job at attracting attention to the short-term call-to-action (which presumably is to register for the Ontario newsletter, to the right of the image). And those business owners who want more detailed information instantly don't have a clear path on how to get it (all the way at the bottom left is a link to ontario.ca).

Selling Ontario, Canada as a business location is a lot different than selling a membership to DollarShaveClub.com. There won't be instantenous results, and it will be difficult to show a return on investment from the actual print ad. I think this campaign does the right thing by encouraging the audience to register for a newsletter. A few months of receiving the newsletter (assuming the content is good) is a good strategy for keeping business owners in-the-know on the advantages of Ontario. But the campaign itself has a lot of potential, both for attracting business owners to the website, and for getting business owners to register for the newsletter and be able to find more information right away if they want it. Optimizing these materials in the ways described would produce better long-term results (no matter how measurable).

What do you think? Is this campaign actually good as is?