Part three in this occasional series on ideas that didn't make it. In this case, we pitched, the client loved the work, but didn't have the resources to make it happen. Even before we pitched, we knew the design budget would be small, so I had aimed for a simple, typographic solution.
DISCLAIMER: Graphics are indicative of a route only.
Lynda.com provides high-quality online training courses and tutorials on a wide variety of professional software programs, business skills and technology. The service is provided through a monthly subscription, with satisfaction levels being extremely high among existing subscribers, but awareness of the company being low in the UK.
The first thing that I started to unpick was why a user would want to pay to subscribe to the service. At around £25pcm, it's not cheap, so there needs to be and obvious and compelling reason to sign up. Once subscribed, the quality of the content should keep users coming back, but for the non-subscriber, it's not clear what is being offered here that can't be found elsewhere for free, for example though tutorials on YouTube.
So what is really being offered here? Why do I want to get expert advice and tips to keep me on top of my game professionally? Because I want get ahead. I want to be one step ahead of everyone else. That's the core truth. People will gladly pay the subscription if they feel that access to the expert advice is giving them some kind of advantage—an advantage that maybe their colleagues or peers aren't getting. It's not just an advantage, it's an unfair advantage, the kind that you're jealous of when it comes to someone else, but happy to take when it comes your way. This story makes the product sound like something that isn't for everyone, it's only for the elite, the ambitious, those who want to get ahead. It justifies the price and gives subscribers a feeling of superiority.
And so the ads are positioned to highlight situations in which some people get either an advantage or have the opportunity to feel superior to others. For example, on busy commuter trains, first-class carriages are an advantage that can be paid for by those with enough disposable income and the desire to guarantee themselves a seat.