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Ads that Work!

By July 17, 2009advertising

When creating an advertisement, whether print or audio, you will want to make sure that you accomplish several things to ensure that your ad is seen or heard. After all, if it’s not seen or heard, it definitely won’t be remembered!

Realizing the purpose of an ad will help you create one that will work. So, what’s the purpose of an ad? To gain attention, hold attention, deliver relevance, brand yourself and finally, to inform.

In order to gain that potential customer’s attention, you must break through the 5,000+ messages that he/she encounters daily. Since each person only “hears/sees” a maximum of ten messages a day, you must use unique adjectives and verbs that will create a visual picture in someone’s mind. Hit the five senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch) with your words.

Now that you have their attention, how do you hold it? You have to trigger their emotions. What do you have to say that will hit them in the gut? Remember Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty. People buy emotionally, so if you can’t hit that emotional trigger, you will probably not get the sale.

If you’ve gotten to this point, you have surpassed the majority of encountered messages, but does that matter? It depends on how relevant your message is to your customer. How does your product or service change their world? The message is not about you, it’s about them! When reading your ad, how many times does your name get mentioned? More than twice? Perhaps it’s time to make a change in how you speak to your customers.

Now it’s time to make sure that this customer will remember you when they think of a particular product or service that they need. To do this, you will need to trigger their associative memory, also known as branding. Branding is not just the logo or trademark, but is also the feeling that someone has about a product, service or company. It is achieved when there is an involuntary and automatic recall. In a study done in 2007 by researches at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Thomas D. Albright was quoted as saying that “We are constantly faced with a complex and ever changing environment, the ability to use information based on learned relations between objects helps us to make sense out of what we see faster and more efficiently. This ability allows us to make the right decisions in a timely manner.” Hence, green light means go and red light means stop, no matter what the scene is around us. To make sure that you are implanting associative memory or branding, just ask yourself three questions: Is your message consistent? Is it frequent? Is it relevant?

Last, but certainly not least, you must inform the customer. You have probably begun to notice that in this day and age the BS filter is gone. Where relational customers (aka loyal) used to drive your business, you are now faced with the need to attract the transactional customers as well. Now you must supply factual and detailed information in your ads. State clearly what you are selling and in some cases, state the actual cost.

Check out the Print Ad for Sharp Fitness in the “Print” section of our portfolio where we made sure to incorporate all of the above.

Next week, I’ll discuss the importance of speaking to your customer. Since you can’t talk to everyone, how do you decide who to talk to?