Reading a blog post from an old friend of mine (she’s not old; we’ve just known each other for long time), reminded of the collosal non-power, non-impact of the photo collage as a marketing communications technique. The collage (aka, the montage) is an assembly of multiple images frequently applied in print ads, on brochure covers or on webpages to communicate multiple ideas about a brand or the various features/benefits of a product/service.
You can imagine how the montage was selected: Why should we limit ourselves to one image when we offer so many different things? Why risk losing some customers by focusing too narrowly? Why define ourselves when we represent different virtues to different people?
Why? Because, perhaps counter-intuitevly, each image represents an expontential decrease, not an increase, in impact. All iconic images, the ones that stick in the mind, are solitary. One thing. A cowboy on a range (Marlborough). A mermaid on a coffee cup (Starbucks). A man on a cross (Christianity).
A montage? Yes, it certainly does communicate — the wrong things. It says you don’t really know who you are or what you stand for — or that, if you do know, you’re not willing to stand up for what it is.
A quick rule of thumb: If you’re brainstorming concepts and a montage approach rises to the top, push it to the bottom and start again — something in the process is misconceived. To learn better processes, consider my content writing training workshops.