It has come to my attention that in the advertising world, everyone is trying to muster up the next “big idea” in as little time as possible. They’re rushing to get the catchy headline first, or the creative image, but what they don’t realize is it all means nothing without a strategy, and is quite frankly a waste of time.
And you’ll end up looking like this:
Putting in more work for the advertising, and not enough for the strategy can get you no where fast. That is why it’s so important to do the whole job 100% from every angle!
My tip to you: don’t rush! Whenever a project is presented to you, what do you generally do first? Think of a great headline, I’m sure. But just because it might be clever, or it might be entertaining, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re selling the product effectively. Why does the consumer need this product or service? Why does this need to be brought to their attention? Until you figure that out, you’re witty headlines won’t do you any good.
The key to great and powerful ads? Research. You know, the digging around for issues, understanding it from every angle, crack and crevice before you rush into your idea.
Take for example George Felton’s example in his book Advertising Concept and Copy:
If you’re creating advertising against teen-age drinking and driving, writing headlines like “don’t drive yourself to drink” or “Don’t take the car for a spin if your head’s spinning” or “how can you stay in a single lane if you’re seeing double?” is a waste of time.The real problems of drinking and driving are elsewhere, and you need to understand them. …You can only being to discover it by researching the problem, its social and psychological dimensions. You’ve got to get out there and talk to some people and do some thinking.
We all know that drinking and driving can kill, just like we know smoking can cause cancer. But how do you really hit someone where it hurts? What will really make them cringe at the thought of getting into a car accident while drunk?
How about these for starters:
- Loosing your licence for good.
- Costing you about ten thousand dollars in court fees.
- You killed an innocent life, and you survived, but you will have guilt on your mind forever.
- Going to the funeral of the person you killed.
An example from Felton’s book:
- “Last night he celebrated midterms. Today he has the final exam.”
If we think more along the lines of consequences, then we’re more inclined to listen to the message. Why do we listen to rules and regulations at school or work? Because we’re scared of what will happen if we don’t listen.
Remember to think of how it really affects someone, don’t just state the obvious and put a cliche headline on it. That’s not what sells a product or service, emotion sells it.
Next week: Strategy versus execution. What’s the difference?