Advertising can be just like taking a bunch of $100 notes out of your wallet and setting them on fire.
Here’s how one print ad was turned from a money-burning waste to a powerful, response-pulling advertisement.
First, this is the text for a proposed advert in a prestige travel magazine.
PUERTO POLLENSA – Northern Mallorca
“DISCOVER THE DIFFERENCE”
Exclusive independent Company – our aim is simple:
BEAUTIFUL VILLAS WITH PRIVATE POOLS
BOOK NOW – THE CHOICE IS YOURS!
Now let’s take a look at what the ad is telling me, the potential customer. It tells of all the nice things that are there. It describes the facilities clearly and without a lot of useless words.
But here’s the kicker . . . so does every other ad selling the same type of holiday!
How can we set ourselves apart from the others? To make your advertising different (read ‘effective’) you have to answer the only question your potential customer is asking:
“What’s in it for me?”
To show your customer what’s in it for him or her, you have to point out the benefits of what you have on offer, not just the features. If you have excellent service, tell them that your excellent service means they’ll feel like royalty.
Get the idea? Let’s take a look at the ad again, but this time let’s add some more words. Let’s add some sizzle to our steak!
“Discover the Difference between us and the others”
BEAUTIFUL VILLAS WITH PRIVATE POOLS — ever wanted to swim naked? Now’s your chance!
Phone NOW . . . our limited number of DISCOUNT PACKAGES are being booked FAST!
If you print out the two ads you’ll easily see the difference.
Problem is, the second ad is now a lot bigger than the first one. When this happens, I always remember the words of an old friend of mine, Aussie advertising genius, Dick Ash. We did a lot of work for Dick when he had the national contract for Jim Beam, Absolut, Cutty Sark and Cuervo.
Dick lived by one golden advertising rule . . . “ONE AD, ONE PRODUCT”. What he was saying was don’t clutter your ad with everything bar the kitchen sink.
This is what ad campaigns are for. If you have 5 unique points to get across, take five ads, and get each point across, one ad at a time.
Obviously since our sample our product is a holiday at our resort (one product), we don’t need more than a two-ad campaign — one for the resort proper, and one for the surrounding locale.
FOOTNOTE: Notice I moved the business name from the top of the ad? That’s because you need to ALWAYS run a headline up there (see our next story).
And bluntly, no-one gives two hoots who you are.
At least, not until you’ve created enough desire in their mind for your product or service. So use the whole ad to sell them, and right at the end, tell them how to get hold of you.
Last, but most definitely not least, tell them to act. This seems so obvious, in fact so obvious than almost all advertisers forget to do it! It’s called your call to action — and never run an ad without it.