The secrets of good advertising: Part 1
This is a pretty wide topic so we’re going to explore it in a series of posts. To start, let’s sum up the secrets of good advertising in a few important points:
1. Cut to the chase: The Elevator Test
Imagine you’ve just met a stranger in an elevator, and you only have 60 seconds to make an unforgettable impression. Would you waste precious seconds talking about the weather, or how you love shisha? Or would you cut straight to how you once did a skydive from space, and how you’ll spend your vacation with native tribes deep in the Amazon rainforest?
In today’s attention-deficit world where people can only pay attention to 140 characters of a tweet, your ads must cut straight to the qualities that make you different from the rest.
2. Going undercover: Know your audience
Every day you’re bombarded with hundreds of ads and branding, but you only remember a tiny drop of this ocean. Why? It’s not because the designs aren’t beautiful. It’s not because the messages aren’t witty and clever. It’s because most ads don’t talk directly to you. Ads can only be relevant if you know the audience inside out. It’s like being an undercover agent to discover your audience’s dreams and fears, passions and pet peeves, sensitivities and insecurities. The scary thing is now you have much less than 60 seconds to make an impression on your audience.
3. The Feel-good Factor
Nobody wants a pessimistic friend who always depresses them, and the same is true in advertising: stay positive by focusing more on the solutions and less on the problems. Not only will people buy your product, they will also associate it with positive emotions. That’s a big reason why humor is such a successful tool in advertising: if you can make the audience laugh or smile, you’re already halfway to winning their hearts.
4. Create an unforgettable experience
What do you remember more intensely: a story that somebody told you, or a story that happened to you? Of course it’s the latter. Make your advertising more than just a piece of paper. Let your audience “live” your brand and interact with it. For example in print, “scratch and sniff” promotions for perfume brands are much more memorable than an ad with just a pretty model.
5. Communication is a two-way street
Invite your audience to a dialogue. This way there will be two sides talking about your brand, giving you twice the exposure. Plus the other side can pass on your message to their social media friends through word of mouth. You will also get to know your audience better, which gives you a great window to create even more successful campaigns.
6. Let the audience drive
Having created an experience and dialogue, the crucial next step is to gain brand ambassadors, at no added cost! User generated content is not only a great way to engage the audience, but to also make the audience feel they have ownership of the campaign, since it is being driven by their own content. It’s like driving hundreds of extra miles on an empty tank!