Advertising is an important part of the daily operations of any company. Without effective advertising, the company is unable to solicit business.
Advertising also helps establish a brand name in the target audience’s mind, which helps to increase the likelihood that the target audience will remember the company name the next time they need the particular product or service the company offers. When advertising is done properly it can make a company into a cultural icon.
The Coca-Cola Company used an image of Santa Claus that one of their artists created to help establish their brand name as something very positive in the minds of consumers all over the world. Good advertising gets people quoting lines from the television commercials when they are out with friends, and it also increases company revenue.
In order to understand how good advertising works, it is first necessary to understand why good advertising works and how smart marketing executives use various techniques to successfully get their point across.
There are a few very basic rules for the world of advertising that can help anyone create an effective marketing campaign that should help get the phones ringing and the product flowing out the door.
The only thing to remember is that while we can lay out the basics of advertising here in this discussion, it takes years of practice to understand how to really use these ideas to their maximum potential.
The Less You Say, The More They Hear
People reading print advertising are easily distracted. Even people that seem like they are reading an article in a magazine subconsciously take a quick glance at the pictures as they turn to a new page. It is not a sign of weakness, it is simply human nature to be temporarily distracted by new visual stimulus.
Good advertising takes advantage of this idea and uses white space in print advertising to get their message across more effectively. The Nike Corporation regularly spends millions of dollars on full page print advertising in large circulation publications just to print their familiar logo and their catch phrase. In many instances, that is all the ad says.
But it is difficult to miss because Nike understands that when you turn that magazine page, the first thing your eye will see is the Nike logo and their catch phrase. It does not matter that it is advertising and you normally skip past the advertising, your eye is instinctively drawn to that logo. Framing your message with nothing gets the message across more effectively.
This method applies to all types of advertising. Companies spend millions producing elaborate television commercials, but yet it is usually the simplest commercials that gain the most customers. Make your advertising simple, use your advertising to make your point and only your point, and your advertising will make you money.
Make Them Laugh
Positive energy sells products. This is an old advertising saying that never goes out of style. Make the audience laugh, and they will purchase your product. But the problem with some advertising is that it makes people laugh, but then the commercial forgets to drill home the message about the product.
There are probably a half dozen commercials that most people can quote off the top of their heads, but those same people probably do not know what most of the funny commercials were selling. Every December there are compilation shows that feature the best commercials from the year, and most of the commercials are based on humor.
But humor without a message is wasted advertising. The most effective commercials are the ones that get the point across, and then make the audience laugh at the punchline. When it comes to humor it is always a good idea to test out a commercial before spending money on getting into prime time rotation. What may seem funny at a marketing meeting six months earlier to the executives, may not be so funny to the target audience. Effective humorous advertising is rigorously tested before it is released for general consumption.
Be Creative, Be Original
Nothing diminishes the returns on an expensive advertising campaign more than stale writing. Too many companies think that all they need to do to catch up to their competition is to copy the competition’s advertising. This happens a lot in the world of beer commercials. It is easy to tell who is selling the most beer at any given time because it is usually the company having their advertising copied by all of the other beer companies. People will not respond to re-hashes of your competition’s advertising campaign, they want to see something original.
An original commercial can gain its own audience quickly, and a truly original commercial can become a pop culture icon. Think of how many advertising campaigns went down as iconic all because they started with an original idea. Some original ideas can even wind up with their own prime time television show if the audience is big enough.
It is important to offer the public something new to look at when you release your advertising. Creative ideas and catchy slogans in advertising sell product, and if it is done properly it can also take on a life of its own as a cultural icon.