Advertising - Advertising is any paid form of nonpersonal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor.
There are three goals of advertising. These goals are to: Inform, Persuade, and Remind.
The major media types for advertising are:
Newspapers, Television, Direct mail, Radio, Magazines, Internet, Outdoor (billboards, blimps, etc.), Yellow pages, Newsletters, Brochures, and Telephone
The traditional conceptual model for creating any advertising or marketing communications message is the AIDA Model: get Attention, hold Interest, arouse Desire, and then obtain Action.
John Caples, one of the greatest copywriters of all time, provides us the following principles (although he was talking about direct response marketing--more about that later--the wisdom is directly relevant to all forms advertising) when it comes to communicating an advertising message:
An even newer paradigm, according to some, is Interrupt, Engage, Educate and then Offer. In any of these models, the first step is to somehow get a person's attention.
It should be noted, however, that there is a growing trend of consumers being more resistent to advertising messages and less open to marketers communicating with them without their expressed permission. As such, advertising models are continuously evolving due to an explosion in media outlets and shifting public opinion. As new communications channels expand at a fast rate, advertisers are exploring the new media options at a rapid pace and exploring new ways to reach an often fickle target audience.
How do we do that?
In my opinion, there is one overriding rule that should guide all advertising: Tell somebody something helpful to them and make sure they are receptive to your message in the first place. Also, do not underestimate the importance of strong copy or content and do not overestimate the importance of graphic design/creative. Whether writing copy for print ads, a website, a Youtube video or writing a script for television, radio, or multi-media presentations, a strong headline is the most important element of the advertisement. This is the element of the message that needs to quickly connect with people and pre-communicate some benefit that is coming soon in the remainder of the ad.
An effective headline is important for many reasons. The headline:
Advice to copywriters:
"When you are assigned to write an ad, write a lot of headlines first. Spend hours writing headlines or days if necessary. If you happen to think of a headline while walking down the street or while riding the bus, take out pencil and paper and write it down." - John Caples
"On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. It follows that, unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money." - David Oglivy
Once the headline has done its job, then prospects are so engaged in what we have to say that we can educate and inform them about the benefits of what we offer so that they can't wait for us to tell them what next step they should take to learn more or get the product or service. Most advertising today falls short. Too much energy is spent on glitzy art or cool graphic design and the resulting ads absolutely fail in the first step of interrupting and capturing attention.
Websites can be wonderful ways to advertise a product, event, idea or brand. Not only can you run your advertisements on websites with highly target traffic and likely buyers (as the ad above), but you may also create entire websites dedicated to advertising your product. Modern websites can also contain content-rich features such as multi-media presentations, seminars and virtual demonstrations.
Television commercials usually come immediately to mind when one mentions "advertisement". While proven to be very effective at selling products and helping to create high brand awareness, television advertising is facing new challenges from digital technologies that enable the skipping or "zapping" of commercials during playback/viewing. Yesterday's model of "mass advertising" on television is changing due to both market and media fragmentation. No longer can companies reach most people by advertising on "the three major networks". Mass marketing is over because there are exponentially more channels out there with cable and satellite television and consumers have fragmented into niche groups with very unique needs, desires, and wants. Television advertising these days must be highly targeted toward the specific demographic desired. Not only that, but we are all becoming "advertisement intolerant" and are more and more likely to "zone out" during commercial messages.
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