Keep It Simple, Not Stupid

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Richard Branson certainly doesn’t need more publicity or admiration, but when I read this Q&A article in Time Magazine, one of his answers caught my eye:

Has your dyslexia hindered you in the business world? —Skye O’Brien, Dartmouth, Mass.
Strangely, I think my dyslexia has helped. When I launch a new company, I need to understand the advertising. If I can understand it, then I believe anybody can. Virgin speaks in normal language instead of using phrases that nobody understands, like “financial-service industry.”

That’s an interesting argument for keeping ad copy simple and visually-oriented: the idea that folks such as dyslexics can understand it easily. It’s simplification, not dumbing-down, I suppose.
Does anyone have any experience with dyslexics or other people where comprehension played a role in whether the ads were successful or not?

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About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for TalentZoo.com and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.