Tips on creating effective ads

Advertising tips word cloudIt’s not always as easy as you might think creating a solid advertisement. Today I’ll pick apart an ad I recently found in a local newspaper and go over how it could be better.

Here’s the ad I’ll be talking about.

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 4.31.15 PM

The Good

The ad leads with an impressive statistic and their contact information is clear and easy to find.  They also do a good job of showing what makes them proprietary in the market; he’s the only fellowship trained specialist in the region, etc.


How they can improve the ad


Readability.  There is way too much information here and the part of the ad which answers the question, “Why go anywhere else?”, probably the best part of the ad, is hand written and terribly difficult to read.  If they were to restructure the ad with an obvious hierarchy of information, it would be so much better.  The most important thing should be the largest piece of information and be positioned where you want someone to start reading, typically at the top of wherever your content starts.  It’d be a good idea to have their tagline, which they don’t have, here as well.


So What?  They focus too much on their features without taking it to the next level.  It doesn’t seem like they ever asked the question, “So what?”.  While their benefits and features are impressive, they never state what that does for me as a consumer.  They almost get there in the hand written part, but I pass right over it because it’s too hard to read.


Buying motives.  They should be focusing on one of the 12 secondary, learned buying motives.  Probably desire for good health, long life, and comfort.  This ad doesn’t ever address the motives of the consumer for wanting to get lasik surgery.  I’ll say it again, they got close with the hand written part, but like I’ve said before: you can’t read it.


Target Audience. While I wasn’t in the planning meeting for the creation of this advertisement, if I had to guess, their discussion about the target audience went something like this: “Who are we targeting with this ad?” “….Well, everyone in southeast Idaho”.   This ad is not targeted to any specific demographic or psychographic.  They need to build a few profiles of who their potential customers are and then craft their ads to meet those fictitious customers.


Positioning.  If I had to guess, I’d say that they’re trying to position themselves as the most qualified Lasik center in the region, essentially focusing on the quality of treatment available exclusively through them.  It could be a bit stronger and more evident though.


Tagline.  There isn’t an obvious tagline here.  Their brand name doesn’t appear until the fifth line down in the ad.  The point of a tagline is to reinforce and solidify the brand name in the mind of the consumer and grab their attention.  It should stick in their mind, while being short and concise.  They need one.  It should be on all of their advertisements, front and center with their brand logo in close proximity.


Call to action.  Lastly, there is no clear call to action here.  They do mention free lasik screenings at the bottom, but there is nothing to make it urgent, or time sensitive in any way.  They could have even said something as simple as “Call to schedule your free screening today”.


Sometimes it’s hard to hear that your advertisement is ineffective, but it’s better than wasting your money on something you’ve been told will help your business.  In summary, when you’re designing any type of advertisement make sure it follows at least these three guidelines: has a clear and strong call to action, is easy to read and professional looking, and is simple – not cluttered with information.


If you’re struggling and would like some help with your advertisements, hire some help.  See my other post on how to get the help you need without breaking the bank by working with a freelancer.  You’ll be glad you did.


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