When you think about it, ads are really nothing more than interruptions and intrusions. They disrupt your TV shows at the most critical moment and break up engrossing articles, sending you scavenging 20 pages deeper into a publication looking for its conclusion. One of satellite radio’s biggest selling propositions is that much of its content is “commercial free”. At the end of the day, people watch, listen or read for content, thus making advertising, more often than not, an interruption of their favorite TV show, music on the radio or an article in a magazine.
For advertising to be effective it needs to stop interrupting what people are interested in and become what people are interested in. In the case of print advertising, you have what I refer to as the three second rule. You have about three seconds to get someone’s attention with your headline and/or visual and draw them into your ad. You then have perhaps an additional three seconds to communicate your message before they move on.
Ads with lots of copy, generic headlines and unimaginative stock images do little to overcome the “Three Second Rule”. When paging through many business or trade magazines the ads you see often read like brochures (i.e., hundreds of words of copy), have self-serving headlines and leverage uninspiring stock photography. They simply do not stand out from anything else in the magazine or offer the reader a reason to stop and become interested in what the advertiser has to say.
Successful print ads should:
- Create awareness for a company, a product or service
- Be singular in their focus and message
- Educate/peak the readers interest on one specific topic and move them towards a desired call to action (i.e., visit your web site or call now for a special offer)
- Reflect a high level of knowledge and understanding of the product/service and the problem it solves
- Leverage headlines and visuals that stress benefit, arouse curiosity and invite readership
Have questions about how to grow your business through strategic advertising? Post a comment below or call our B2B ad agency at 440-449-6800.