We’ve talked before about the ugly turkey. If you haven’t read that blog, or want a refresher, read this then come back.
But in a nutshell: The ugly turkey is a clipart turkey that designers hate because (as the name implies) it’s not nice to look at. But we use it in acquisition because it’s effective.
So…why does it work?
While it’s impossible to know for sure, we do have a couple of theories on why donors seem to respond well to that particular turkey.
It’s a very simple design. Over and over, we’ve seen that donors across multiple clients respond to a simple, basic design more than a flashy one. There’s lots of designer terms for the different types, but we call them “low design” and “high design”.
Low design, like the clipart turkey, is trickier than it initially seems. If done well, it looks like anyone could have made it… except that not just anyone can make something clean and uncluttered that gets your attention. It is actually very strategic and difficult to create.
High design is bright, flashy, and looks like it was designed by a professional. It looks awesome. There are times that high design is effective and appropriate. But most of the time when your nonprofit wants to communicate to donors, low design performs better.
Like a lot of things in life, sometimes the simplest things are most effective.
The turkey is instantly recognizable. It’s exactly what you picture a Thanksgiving turkey to look like, it even has the lines above it to show delicious aromas wafting off it. When you see it, you immediately know it’s a hot, delicious turkey.
Think back to when you watched cartoons as a kid. Imagine what they showed for a scrumptious, hot meal. You can picture it exactly, right?
This simple turkey conveys a lot to the donor, quickly and easily.
Do you have an ugly turkey (a literal turkey or something else that works but your designers don’t really like) that works for your nonprofit’s communication?
We’d love to hear about it, email us at email@example.com.