Our Love-Hate Relationship with Advertising: 4 Ways To Tip The Scales in Favor of Love

Our Love-Hate Relationship with Advertising: 4 Ways To Tip The Scales in Favor of Love

Advertising, whether it comes in the form of a display ad, television commercial, billboard or radio spot, has always drawn both praise and criticism. The best advertising campaigns inspire people, and the worst irritate and annoy.

Here are 4 ways to move from delivering ads that are loathed, to creating ads that are revered:

    1. Bring people with you

    No one wants to listen to you sell. Going on and on about all the great features of your newest widget is boring. When you make your advertising all about you, it doesn’t bring your listener along for the ride. Instead of selling feature lists or bashing competitors, why don’t you try telling a great story?

    People love stories. They love hearing stories, and sharing them. Stories evoke emotion and people remember them. They like telling their friends good stories. And maybe most importantly for advertisers to remember, people like to imagine themselves in stories. What better way to lead people to your products or services then to help them envision a way in which they might need or want what you’re offering.

    Associate your brand with respected people, and have them tell their story. Just by being in proximity to a great story will help elevate your brand in your audiences’ eyes.

    A great example of bringing people with you is the video series put on by People Water. They follow a pro snowboarder, a wakeboarder, and a cute little girl as they explore a day in their life. The videos are short, yet captivating and engaging. How are they so engaging? Because you, as the viewer, have the opportunity to live for a minute or two in “their world” – which isn’t as common as our ordinary world.

    The brand doesn’t need to cram a bunch of messaging down your throat because instead, by simply showing awesome, out-of-the ordinary stories, your audience associates good things with the brand. This is essentially the halo effect, and it works.

    2. Use beautiful imagery or interactive elements

    Words are good. Images are great. Videos are superb. Of course, every situation is unique and this doesn’t always hold true, but a lot of the time, using beautiful images or interactive elements can really help drive engagement among your customers.

    Why do you think brands like Louis Vuitton spend so much money on hiring world-class photographers and intriguing spokespeople?

    Because they know that beautiful images that tell universal stories capture people’s attention. Spend the time to make sure your ads are beautiful to look at and incite people to keep looking or learn more.

    3. Get to the point

    It’s no secret that people’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. For advertisers, you can look at this as a problem or as a blessing. I choose to see it as a blessing, because ultimately, we have the opportunity to save time and shorten the sales cycle.

    It’s important to really understand exactly what your brand is offering people. If you’re in the business of selling running shoes, I’m not talking about offering people footwear that protects their feet. That’s the obvious part of what you offer.

    Getting to the point means treating your customers like the intelligent consumers they are. If you’re a shoe company selling shoes, people don’t need you to tell them that directly. They’re looking for you to tell them exactly what the shoes can do for them.

    It’s about thinking a few steps down the line. Running shoes will make them slimmer, happier, sexier, faster, better versions of themselves.

    That’s the point, right? So speak to that desire in your ads. Talk about the end results. Get to the point. In the Zonkers footwear ad above, you don’t need to see the shoes to see what they can do for you.

    4. Create a sense of urgency

    When it comes to driving more conversions, less is definitely more. Humans seem wired to want what they can’t have and, speaking from personal experience myself, I know I desire things that are rare, or that seem hard to acquire.

    If you were in the market for a television, you probably wouldn’t stress too much about exactly when or where you’re going to buy it. That is, unless you knew there was a big 40% off sale at a local electronics store that was only happening for a few hours, one day next week – then you’d probably mark the date/time on your calendar to drop by that retailer and buy it.

    Or, what if you were shopping at your favorite store online and a countdown timer was updated every time someone purchased another item, indicating the amount of stock that was left? QVC doesn’t put those countdown timers up for their health. They know that the time and quantity restraints create a sense of urgency in shoppers, and thus, trigger them to buy.

    I’ve been working in marketing for a few years now, and even I’m not above reacting to tactics like this. So try your hand at including some element of “now” in your next display ad, and see how your shoppers react.

At the end of the day it’s really all about creating great content for your ads. Take the extra time to think through your next display ad and, more specifically, what it’s offering your customer. It’s the first step in creating a great ad that people will love, or at the very least engage with.

by Aubrey Beck, Content