Perhaps the greatest obstacle to good advertising is excess. Ads can end up so crammed with ideas and features that they appear dense and uninviting. If over-designed, they can become more artistic than motivational, obscuring the sales message. If over-written, they can become over-subtle or over-cute. Certainly, some of the best ads ever created are clever and visually arresting; but good ads must also sell.
Similarly, selling points may over-promise. Use “largest,” “best” and other superlatives only if you can back them up. Avoid any claim that could be construed as deceptive. In addition, make sure the overall tone of your ad is upbeat and appealing. Emphasize the solutions you provide, not the problems you address. And get outside opinions on your new advertising concepts to be certain they carry the personality and message you intend.
Fundamentals of Headlines, Copy and Design
While there are many opinions about what constitutes good headlines, copy and design, most professionals agree that these individual elements of the ad must work together. In combination, they must grab attention, convey a persuasive message and portray a consistent identity. An ad that’s too cluttered can’t convey a message quickly enough to engage the reader or viewer. One that’s out of character with the product or service will be confusing rather than convincing. An effective headline (or a broadcast ad’s opening moments) must immediately capture the audience’s interest and pull them into the ad. A good rule of thumb is to look for the inherent “drama” in what you are offering and capitalize on that to create an alluring ad.
Examples: “We’re Losing Our Minds” – a university ad appealing for funds. And “You Don’t Have to Be Jewish to Love Levy’s” – a bread company ad featuring a Chinese man biting into a whopping pastrami sandwich.
Next, the photo or illustration amplifies the message. A recent ad for Bull Worldwide Information Systems, for example, showed a satellite photo of the earth with the headline “GloBull.”
Once the headline and illustration have drawn the customer into your ad, the copy convinces them to buy. So make it believable, full of information and bolstered with words and style that complement your identity. Almost any Mercedes Benz print ad exemplifies convincing copy in a style that suits the product perfectly.
Broadcast advertising will also involve selecting music, sound effects, actors or announcers and perhaps a theme song. All these elements enhance your message and reinforce your identity but, for the most part, the copy and what it conveys actually do the selling.
Learning how to persuade and influence will make the difference between hoping for a better income and having a better income. Beware of the common mistakes presenters and persuaders commit that cause them to lose the deal.
Persuasion is the missing puzzle piece that will crack the code to dramatically increase your income, improve your relationships, and help you get what you want, when you want, and win friends for life. Ask yourself how much money and income you have lost because of your inability to persuade and influence. Think about it. Sure you’ve seen some success, but think of the times you couldn’t get it done. Has there ever been a time when you did not get your point across? Were you unable to convince someone to do something? Have you reached your full potential? Are you able to motivate yourself and others to achieve more and accomplish their goals? What about your relationships? Imagine being able to overcome objections before they happen, know what your prospect is thinking and feeling, feel more confident in your ability to persuade. Professional success, personal happiness, leadership potential, and income depend on the ability to persuade, influence, and motivate others.