Marketing Clinic – Effective Advertising

The insight and understanding that goes behind every advertising campaign incurs hours of thought and exploration, focus groups, market testing and then potentially back to the drawing board. Every advert you create is an investment in your brand's future. If you don't have time to give it the consideration it deserves, then consider this, if your advertising goes unnoticed, everything is wasted.

Remember that advertising works best as part of a marketing mix – PR sews the seed and creates the credibility in your brand, whilst advertising harvests the crop and converts the sale.

The basic principles to what makes an effective ad:

Don't use false or outrageous claims

These may make a good headline and grab attention, but when you are discovered as a fraud the resulting negativity will have the potential to destroy your brand.

  • Avoid clichés - these will cause the 'I've heard this before' reaction which will prevent any further message being absorbed
  • Don't patronise your audience - they're smart and like to be treated that way
  • Don't be aggressive in your style or techniques – this will only cause the audience to become so

Grabbing attention

Advertisers get a very brief opportunity to catch the consumer's attention. Use language that they will relate to and give them something that switches their brain from 'ignore' to 'ok, I'm listening'. You can use techniques such as those listed below to gain a few extra valuable seconds of your audience's time.

  • Intrigue - 'So what's this all about then?'
  • Emotion - Stirring feelings or memories
  • Association - 'I can relate to that'
  • Identify a problem - 'I wish there was a solution to that'
  • Making a claim - 'That sounds interesting'

Generating interest and desire

Ok, so you've got their attention for a few seconds - how do you hold their interest and get them in the mood to buy? To make your advert appealing you need to tap into the emotional and practical sides of your target's nature and show how your product can help...

  • Reduce or avoid effort
  • Save time
  • Make them money
  • Save money
  • Gain knowledge
  • Become more successful
  • Avoid a missed opportunity
  • Improve their image
  • Be more popular
  • Give them a great experience

Imagery layout

Selecting the right image can make a huge difference to the impact of the ad. People will make quick assumptions about your product and brand from the images you use in your creative. Ensure the imagery used reflects your brand values - premium brands invest large sums of money grading and retouching images to ensure they give the right impression, but cheaper products should still strive to invest in the best quality photography which will contribute much more to your brand perception.

Call to action

Make the next steps you would like the consumer to take incredibly obvious and as easy as possible, whether this is visiting a website, dialing a number or walking into a high street shop. Make it clear how they can obtain what you are selling, and give them some motivation to do it quickly. Limited offers are a great way of stimulating short-term interest. Once the prospect makes the next move, they have entered your purchase chain and you must ensure your marketing mix and all customer touch points encourage the next step to be taken towards purchase.

There are many reasons why you would advertise and therefore not all rules apply to all adverts but as a guide, The Hub shares 9 top tips on what makes a great ad!


1. WHAT COMES FIRST THE IMAGE OR THE WORDS?

1. WHAT COMES FIRST THE IMAGE OR THE WORDS?

Artwork and copy must be integrated and work hand in hand – don't think your design agency can create artwork and then subsequently a copywriter author the words – they must be created as one entity.
2. BE CLEVER AND CREATIVE

2. BE CLEVER AND CREATIVE

It is important to approach your advertising in a clever way – a creative, thought provoking advert attracts people and represents the brand in a positive way – if you see a smart ad, you want to learn more. A clever ad portrays a clever company.
3. SPEAK LOUDLY BUT DON'T SHOUT

3. SPEAK LOUDLY BUT DON'T SHOUT

Don't be shy to put your point across. Advertising is sometimes the only medium whereby you get the opportunity to totally control your message. A clear and concise message that will resolute in the prospect's mind will deliver more recall than overly complicated copy that ends up saying nothing.
4. DON'T MAKE THEM THINK TOO MUCH

4. DON'T MAKE THEM THINK TOO MUCH

A bit like a bad joke, the ad that has to be explained doesn't work. A person should know what the ad is telling them as soon as they look at it. Keep it simple. Not simpleminded, but single minded. Who has the time or the desire to listen to advertising?
5. COLOURS

5. COLOURS

The use of colour is a key element of a creative ad. The colour pallet needs to work with the feeling of your brand and support the emotion your ad is trying to evoke – for example if the aim of the ad is to portray a fun brand then bright primary colours is a good collaboration, or it is more serious a more muted toned down colour spectrum works best.
6. HAVE A PERSONALITY

6. HAVE A PERSONALITY

Advertising must have vitality. People buy people, and people have personalities. To gain consumer affinity with your brand your ad needs exuberance – a personality that mirrors that of your brand.
7. STAND OUT

7. STAND OUT

Being unique and memorable are two essential components of a good ad. Don't be swayed to simulate another brand's creative – be original. Safe ideas can kill your brand. If it's been done before, your competition will be ready for it. Your only chance of beating the competition is with advertising they've never seen before. Which means you've never seen it before either! Be brave.
8. SHOW NOT TELL

8. SHOW NOT TELL

A good ad is one that shows instead of telling. Use imagery to communicate and avoid obvious copy that is more dictating.
9. HUMOUR

9. HUMOUR

Metaphors are a great way to add humour to an advert but use wisely, although humour can grab attention it can be taken out of context and lost on some readers and even cause insult

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