Advertising is the keystone to any good sales cycle. After all, if your target market isn’t aware of your product or service, does it matter at all that you offer it in the first place? One of the primary drivers for sales is an advertising campaign to build consumer awareness.
But what distinguishes a good ad from a bad one? And what should your company aim for when considering how to create a good ad?
In this article, we’ll explore the elements of how to make a good ad. We will also note some examples of effective ads so your company can learn how to make your advertisement stand out against the competition.
1. Don’t Confuse Your Audience
You and your team probably have an enormous amount of pressure on you to launch an ad campaign that delivers. This pressure could come from your executive team, your shareholders, or countless other sources.
However, with all of that pressure comes differing points of view on what exactly is worth featuring in your ad. Your product team might feel that the most valuable thing to highlight is your product’s unmatched specs, whereas your executive team might want to focus on the product’s low cost.
Ultimately, your audience won’t care about all the behind-the-scenes drama. They are willing to part with just 8 seconds of their attention and they only care about one thing: is this product relevant to their needs?
By focusing on a limited scope of facets or features and omitting a more encyclopedic bullet list of every conceivable selling point, your ad can remain focused and can help your audience buy into the very notion of your product in the first place.
2. Drive Conversions
Although the question of what makes a good advertisement is largely objective, one thing is for sure: if your audience doesn’t know what to do next after seeing your ad, it’s probably not very good.
An ad should simultaneously build curiosity in your audience and give them a pathway to satisfy that curious hunger. This can be achieved in numerous ways, including:
- Calling out a URL where your product or service can be purchased,
- Inviting your audience to reach out to your sales team,
- Featuring your social media handles, where your audience can learn more about your product and your company,
- And more.
There is no one right way to drive conversions. But not offering your audience the chance to take the next step is certainly one way not to.
3. Create Something Memorable
The term “viral” is a bit of a misnomer these days. If everything is “going viral,” is anything really? But ultimately, even if it simply fosters a one-on-one conversation, your ad can elevate itself from a fleeting bit of window dressing into something truly memorable for your audience.
Consider this ad from the Copenhagen Zoo, which figuratively wrapped a city bus in the coiling crunch of a vicious snake. It’s simple, effective, and easily recounted from one person to another. “Hey, did you see that snake bus?” someone might say to a friend, easily prompting a follow-up query.
By giving an ad just a little extra thought and consideration for where it will ultimately be placed, you can evolve your ad from a simple checkbox on your marketing list to something truly special.
As a bonus, if an audience member mentions your ad to someone who has not seen it, congratulations: you just enjoyed a bit of free advertising!
4. Break Conventions
Here’s a 1960s ad to consider from Volkswagen. Now imagine the project’s ad team as they considered how to make a good advertisement for their latest car. They had two choices:
- Take the easy route, and advertise it the same old way their competition advertised their cars
- Take the harder route, and do something that had never been done before in advertising.
They chose option 2, and the rest is history. By creating something unlike the competition, and by creating ad copy that broke conventions of the time (such as the notion that an ad had to be overwhelmingly positive or that ad space needed to treat audiences with the lowest common denominator), VW was able to not only boost sales but created an ad we are still talking about six decades later.
5. Create Art
Picture an ad for Grey Goose vodka. You can probably imagine their logo, featuring a flock of wild geese in mid-flight, right? But can you actually think of a Grey Goose ad?
Absolut could have easily just taken a picture of its vodka being enjoyed by beautiful models in stunning bar and apartment settings, but instead, they partnered with artists like Keith Haring and Andy Warhol and created ads that were as much art as they were promo.
The key for how to make your advertisement stand out is to signal to your audience the piece you’ve created is more than fluff. It’s a collectible.
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