A Great Ad is About the Customer, Not Your Business

 

Written by Jim Blommel
Production Director

 

A lot of people think advertising is like writing a résumé.

(“Three convenient locations,” “Number one in sales by volume,” “Serving the area for three generations.”)

 

But the consumer will quickly grow tired of that and tune you out. If you really want to engage your audience, start with something relatable.

(“Did I remember to close the garage door?”)

 

Show them that you understand their situation.

(“If I go back to check I’ll be late for work.”)

 

Then offer a solution to make things better.

(“Our WiFi-enabled garage door opener can be operated from your smart phone.”)

 

A great copywriter can deliver this message directly or indirectly, using humor, interviews, urgency, storytelling, music, miniature dramas and more.

 

If done well, the audience will be anxious to hear more about you.

 

So, when you are building your next advertising campaign, approach it from the viewpoint of the consumer before handing them your resume.

 

Three Crucial Steps You Must Take Before Creating Your Next Advertisement

1. Define your target audience.

I’ve asked many clients who they want to reach with their advertising. Most of them will say “everyone.” But what they really mean is “everyone I can get who would be interested in my product.” After all, you’re not going to sell a lawnmower to someone renting an apartment no matter how great the ad is. Zero in on that target audience, and you will have a better conversation with them. That will help you refine your message and create more effective advertising.

 

2. Ask how your product or service meets the needs of that target audience.

It may be a solution to a problem or an enhancement to their daily experience. If you were in their situation, what would they want to know about you? Scan through those positive reviews, too.  Customer comments can often provide the best material for a commercial.

 

3. Finally, make it easy for them to contact you.

My primary medium is audio. Unless the client is 1-800-Flowers, I avoid phone numbers and addresses because they’re too difficult to remember. I prefer giving out a website, especially if it reinforces your company name. If your website is too cumbersome (“GlaucomaMedicalSolutions/plans-4-U.med”) consider getting a ‘vanity URL’ that’s easy to remember (“ClearMyVision.com”). Then use that to redirect people to your website.

 

From there, the creative process can begin. Whether the copywriter and producer choose a serious tone, humor, or other vehicle, the information above will start them out in the right direction.

 

Jim Blommel has been involved in writing, voicing or producing over 20,000 commercials.  He is an eight-time nominee and two-time winner of the Radio Advertising Bureau’s national Mercury Award.

 

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