As a loyal Southwest Airlines customer, I was stopped in my tracks by this banner ad and layout:
Don’t Fly With Us
See the problem? By disconnecting the sentence, you see the final phrase as a warning: “don’t’ fly with us!” Oooops!
By the same token, a banner ad on CNN.com asks: “do you know your digits?” with the only graphic a picture of a bright red phone. Of course, you and I assume it has something to do with phoning, right? Instead, it commands us to click to get your free credit score at freecreditscore.com. It’s a mixed up metaphor that hangs up on the viewer.
What’s the Lesson Here? Startling the reader with an unconventional headline can grab immediate attention, but if it sends the wrong message, you might be headed for a free fall.