5 Tips for Creating a Powerful Advert

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Advertising is the art of telling stories

TV Commercials tell stories, take for example the Apple iPhone 5s ‘You’re more powerful than you think’ ad, which tells how you have the power to do everyday things in extraordinary ways, and extraordinary things every day.

Print ads and online ads are no different, except you have less time and space than commercials but they’ve adapted to the format using word play and visual clues to tell their story.

These stories give the audience options in black & white, good & bad, right & wrong, desirable & undesirable, pain and the absence of pain, etc. Things are generally simple in advertising, no grey areas, doubts or complex scenarios.  It’s easier to convey and understand the idea that ‘smoking kills’, rather than explain that it’s taking unnecessary risks by smoking that can kill you, (the risks of smoking is heart disease, cancer of the lung and many other parts of the body, respiratory disease, impotence in men and miscarriage in pregnant women, to mention but a few).  People find it easier to relate smoking to danger as opposed to relating their own risk-taking ability (or lack of it) to danger.

With this in mind, here are 5 key tips for telling effective stories – narratives that get the audience to think / do what the creators want them to do:

1. K.I.S.S. – Keep it ‘Stupidly’ Simple!

You have a couple of seconds, at best, to grab the attention of your prospect. So stick to a clear, simple carefully crafted message.  Avoid too many unnecessary words, clear out the dead wood.  Cut to the chase.

2. Vivid & Visual

The use of colours, powerful language, emotion and visual content, are elements which will help to attract and keep attention, as well as conveying cues about your core and underlying message. We would definitely recommend user a professional Graphic Designer!

3. Establish Relevance (Create a need)

Why is this important to me/why should I care? Research confirms that perceived relevance is a critical factor in maintaining interest and motivation – and make your story relevant to the largest possible audience.

4. Prove Credibility

Potential customers want to know who they’re dealing with and endorsements are the best way to convert prospects to customers. Testimonials, recommendations and referrals give credibility and are like virtual versions of word-of-mouth advertising.

5. Call to Action

So often, advertisers fail to include the all important ‘Call to Action.  No steps are in place at the end of the advert to capitalize on all the hard work that has been put in place to create the advert.  Even a fairly mediocre advert can bring in a new stream of customers by just adding a link or url at the end of the ad which takes the prospect to a landing page for a mailing list. And lastly, make it easy for them to find your contact details!

Whatever it is you do, make sure you invite the audience to take some sort of action at the end of the advertisement. Whether it’s an offer, discount voucher or simply to subscribe to your mailing list.

By: Alex Durston

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