Making ads that work: Get right to the point

Understand that advertising in virtually all media has a very brief opportunity to attract readers, listeners, or viewers. They’ll give you a second or two or three to get your meaning across. It doesn’t make sense, then, for you to bury the most important information far down in your ad. Prospective customers must know right away what your ad is about, what the offer is, and why he should pay attention. That way, he’ll be exposed your basic sales message even if he doesn’t get the whole thing.

You may be thinking, “What about those Geico commercials? We don’t find out till the end that the commercial is about insurance.” Well, Geico and other major national advertisers are playing in a different ballgame than most small businesses. They have enormous advertising budgets to hammer away at advertising themes that sell effectively through sheer tonnage, as well as superior creative input, over the long haul. Small businesses generally don’t have that kind of money, and can’t wait for long-term payoff. They must make sales now.

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Advertising to young people

The sad truth is that young people don’t read. Newspaper and magazine advertising doesn’t reach them in any significant way. The most efficient way to reach teens is with appropriate radio stations, and with appropriate TV programs. To reach younger children, only television does so in any efficient way.

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How to check out your radio commercial

When you make your commercial at a radio station, or an outside sound studio, the finished commercial will be played back for you on a big sound system. Such a system handles subtle sounds very well. But many of your listeners are listening in their cars or on small radios, which have small loudspeakers. What sounds good to you in the studio may come across poorly to many of the people in your audience. Check out your commercial on a small speaker before you approve it.

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