Sit back and think about how many ads you see in a day. Is it 100, 1,000, or more?
1,000 ads seem like a lot, but experts have estimated that the average person comes into contact with around 5,000 ads per day. From ads on social media and billboards on the street, to the pages in your magazine and the digital screen in your doctor’s office, we are so surrounded by ads that most of the time our brain just simply phases them out. What do I mean by phase them out? If an ad doesn’t catch your attention, you don’t retain that you saw it. The reason for this is because if it is not relevant to you, then it is not relevant for you to remember. Even if the company or item is relevant to you, if the ad fails to grab you then it doesn’t matter what information it provides.
Holy Ads Batman!
The ads you have seen today – how many do you remember? Chances are you don’t recall seeing thousands of ads, but you do remember some of them. The ones you remember you can describe in fair detail and you probably remember the company name. As a business owner, I know what you’re thinking – ‘it’s a waste of my time and money to create an ad when people are going to see 4,999 other ads just today. I might as well focus on word of mouth and hope for the best’ but that’s not going to help your business grow beyond your neighbourhood or town. The goal is not to simply be one of the 5,000 ads, but to be one of the few ads that people remember – one of the ads that are so good that people talk about it with their friends and on social media.
How do you create one of those ads that are so bad a** that people can’t stop sharing and talking about it? You’ve got to combine many “ingredients” in order to put together the perfect recipe for your target consumer. Like with all things in marketing, you must first know who you are targeting – for if you don’t know your consumer your advertisement will run the risk of falling flat. Once you know who you are tailoring the ad for, then you begin working on the creative (design & copy).
Design & Copy, Design & Copy, Design & Copy
We are visual creatures and the old saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ is as true today as it has ever been. Having a well-designed ad will exponentially increase your ability to grab attention. It will trigger movement in your target audiences’ brain and begin the process of them moving from phasing your ad out –> to becoming aware that it is in front of them. So, after you grab their attention then what do you do? Well, you mix a bit of design with a bit of copy. The copy gives them the important information that they need to know about your product or service while the visual takes them on a journey and shows what the copy cannot.
You want your design to illustrate relevance. There is no reason to have a baby in an advertisement for an adult beverage and making mistakes like that can ruin an entire campaign. Your copy needs to show relevance too, but beyond that, it needs to be presented in a way that triggers memory receptors. Droning on and on about things will cause your audience to get bored with your ad and/or forget what your message even was. When writing copy for ads I like to use the KIS method – Keep It Simple. The more simple your design & copy is the better because it is easier to remember simple things.
Where Do They Go?
You’ve designed and written your perfect ad – so now where do you put it? Knowing your target market will tell you specifically where and when you need to place your ad to get the biggest bang for your buck. The key to remember is that no single location is the be all end all of your campaign. Combining multiple platforms into a single campaign can be the key to winning the battle of the advertisements and boost your brand into the “I remember that ad I saw the other day” category. For example, say that your target market is people that like to watch sports. You target them on Facebook and they react to your ad with a like or they tag a friend in the ad. The next day they are standing in line to get into the stadium to watch their favourite football team and on the wall, they see a digital sign with your ad on it and they remember liking your ad on social media and tagging their friend in the ad. Then, after they get home that night they see the ad again on social media and decide to (purchase, sign up, etc). The next day, they could be telling their friends about it and before you know it a domino effect begins.
You Don’t Have to Be the Only, Just Be the Best.
Making sure that you know who your customer is, specifically targeting them, designing ads that move it from “like all the rest” to an attention grabbing one, and writing copy that takes that attention and supplements it with beneficial information can set you apart from the other 5,000 ads that are seen every day. Using multiple methods to deliver your ad can increase the chance of consumers taking action with your business. Advertising mediums like digital signage can be a wonderful complement to social media. There will never be a world where you are the only ad, but there can be a world where you are the most memorable ad.
There will never be a world where you are the only ad, but there can be a world where you are the most memorable ad.