Tips for Creating Effective Print Ads
People see literally hundreds of print adds a day on Duratrans, vinyl signs, custom posters and more, which means many people are now all but immune to the power of print advertising. To break through their mental filters, you need to be sure that your ad is dynamic, powerful and different. Here are a few tips to help you reach the audience you want, in a manner that will be effective:
- Headline: It starts with the headline; the largest piece of text on your ad. Make sure the headline has stopping power, so that people stop what they are doing to read it, and then, hopefully, read the text below it to find out more. A good way to do this is to issue a broad challenge — challenge a commonly accepted belief, or ask a thoughtful, but short question.
- Focus: Make sure the ad focuses on your consumer, not your company. People are inherently selfish, meaning they want to know how your product or service will affect and improve their life, not how long it took you to develop it.
- Uniformity: Make sure the entire ad is uniform and presents one message. If it stretches in three different directions, your potential clients will walk away confused, with no single, focused message or product in mind, and will forget your ad. Your text, images and overall design should all work together toward one, clearly-articulated end. If you are having trouble with this step, take your ad back to the drawing board, and choose a focus for the campaign, which you can then keep in mind while writing.
In our last blog, we outlined three of the most memorable marketing campaigns from the 2000s, onward, and the elements of each that made them remarkable. Here are three more campaigns that have qualities you may want to emulate in order to have a particularly successful campaign:
- The Man Your Man Could Smell Like campaign from Old Spice in 2010 was particularly successful because it used sex appeal and humor to reinvigorate an older brand. The spokesperson appealed to both men and women, and was able to engage with them on and offline, and the ads were shown frequently, since they were shorter and were very shareable, which encouraged people to send the ads to their friends. Even though they sent them for the humor, the brand was still promoted.
- The Mini Cooper’s Let’s Motor campaign took the Mini Cooper from having a brand awareness of only 2% in the US, and made it one of the top-selling cars in the US. The campaign focused on a single point that made the car different and better than the other cars that were available, namely the gas-efficiency, and cleared a new path in marketing by declaring it was a sexy, cool car, instead of appealing to people to give it that status.
- Brand Artisan Entertainment’s Blair Witch Project campaign was one of the first viral marketing campaigns online, and was much more successful than if the producers had stuck to more traditional custom posters and custom banners. Even though it was shot on a small budget, the film ended up making more than $250 million, because it convinced people that the horror stories were real. Like the True Blood campaign, this one used great storytelling to make up for a low budget, and brought people further into the fictional world that had been created.