Designing An Ad that Sells
The best result-producing ads
have an eye-catching illustration that takes up approximately a third
of the ad space, preferably poking out of the border in some way which
again increases results. The reason for such a large illustration is
that people react far more to a company's "personality" than to what
they offer. As an advertiser, you have to present a strong personality,
then stick to it throughout your advertising, so choosing an
illustration is very important. You personally will have the best
source of possible illustrations - through catalogues, magazines etc.
For Real Estate Agents, Financial Services, etc.,you may prefer to use
a personal photo, but again - keep it over-sized. Your company logo is
not a good illustration, although I'm sure many of you will insist that
your logo is the biggest part of the ad. That's equivalent to thinking
a friend's name is more important than "who" they are. Your name is
incidental information. Who you ARE is far more important.
(Illustrations also instantly tell a reader what the ad is about, and
if his car just broke down for example, any ads to do with car repair,
sales, etc. will pop right out at him because he has his car on his
mind.) As a business person, you also must realize that you are not
alone in the world. You have competitors and although every business
person believes their particular store is the "best" in the city, if
people only reacted to price for example, no mid or high-end (as
opposed to "bargain") stores would exist. People choosing where to buy,
react to a variety of factors which make up the "personality" of each
choice, which is why the over-sized personality-producing illustration
is so important. (If possible, try to also choose a "fun" illustration.
It's also interesting to note that people who go to restaurants -
generally are NOT bargain hunters. Bargain hunters would rather save
money by cooking at home, so the audience you're REALLY reaching are
people looking for mid to high-end stores who prefer service and
quality merchandise over a "bargain price".
What you sell should be stated in five
words or less. This can also be a teaser heading such as "Have you
tried all nine positions?" (an ad for Futons). Keep it simple, and try
to use words a seven-year-old would understand immediately. Don't use
the company name as your heading unless your store is announcing a move
to another location. Remember, a store's name is incidental information
- where to get what you want to buy. The ad itself has to concentrate
on what you're offering.
Usually in point-form, the
sub-heads give more information about what is being offered. If the
heading is "Silk Shirts for summer", for example, the sub-heads might
be what sizes are available, long or short sleeve, style
characteristics, colours available, etc.
This area is used for the "Satisfaction
Guaranteed", "Sale Ends April 25th!", " FREE Estimates", "Open Sundays
10-5", etc. or a special offer: "Bring in this ad for a 20% discount on
silk ties - offer expires June 30/ 2001." Note: Do NOT use the word
"coupon" when referring to an offer. Since your readership is made of
mostly "A" and "B" type customers, the word "coupon" means being
"cheap". "A" customers don't care about cost and are turned off by "too
big discounts" which makes them suspect the merchandise might be poor
quality anyways and is not worth looking at. Your "B" type customers
will only sometimes react to a discount offer, so if you're trying to
count coupons to check the responses, you'll be disappointed. It is
better to use Coffee News to promote quality and service, then use
regular newspapers to promote discounts and sales.
"A" buyers - those who NEVER shop around for sales, and want quality,
service, easy parking - "in-and-out-5 minutes" type shoppers. "B"
buyers - those who need to "keep up with the Jones's" with the motto
"the man with the most toys before he dies - wins!" "C" buyers - those
who ONLY buy on deep discount. To buy anything at "full price" is to
them - a complete waste of good money.
Use your logo whenever possible,
but if not, have your company name typeset using a bold but
"friendly-looking" serif typestyle, that's EASY to read.
6.Your address and phone number
Or just phone number if you have a home
business. This is incidental information and should be in small
print, with the phone number slightly larger for people phoning from