Badvertising, or bad advertising, is all too common. Companies know they should be advertising to get their brand or product in front of potential buyers, but too often they miss the mark.
Sometimes it’s an effort to cram too much into one ad (I explore this problem in my post 5 Simple Tips for Creating More Effective Advertising). Other times it’s just creativity run amok.
“This is going to go viral” must be in someone’s head. Perhaps it does, but only by bloggers who watch for examples of badvertising. (Yes, they are out there. Let me know of your site if you’re one of them.)
Follow these simple principles to avoid bad advertising.
1. Don’t pay to talk to yourself.
Media costs real dollars. Don’t waste them patting yourself on the back. Your prospects aren’t sitting around waiting to hear, act or believe anything your company has to say – especially if you’re busy talking about yourself.
2. “You can’t bore people into buying your products.” – David Ogilvy
Why pay to blend in? Campaigns based on “quality” and “service” as well as other cliche ideas are guaranteed not stand out from the babble of the marketplace. Challenge yourself by translating USP’s in a new and interesting way.
3. Don’t target your audience.
To comprehend this you must understand the “missing moose theory.” Come September 1st, the first day of moose hunting season, Tom Bodett doesn’t see any moose in Homer, Alaska. It’s because their being targeted. In other words, don’t target your audience or they’ll run, too.
4. Don’t talk out of both sides of your media at one.
Establish a brand personality and stick with it.
5. Don’t promise the moon, unless you’re NASA.
People know hype when they see it, and it turns them off. The best ads are about real situations with real benefits being addressed.
6. Acknowledge that nobody roots for Goliath.
Nobody cares if you’re number one if your product doesn’t benefit them. So don’t flaunt you market position, even if you are number one.
7. Eat jumbo shrimp.
There are no rules in advertising. Ads that break out of the norm are winners.
8. Swing for the fences.
Nobody remembers Babe Ruth as the “Strike-Out King.”
Don’t be afraid to miss once-in-a-while.
Great advertising communicates powerfully. Badvertising is shouting for attention.
Ultimately, you want to create advertising that will do one of these three things:
- Build your brand
- Generate leads
- Drive sales
The temptation is to have it do all three.
Work to make your advertising meaningful by telling your story in an engaging and relevant way that will activate a relationship to create a customer (hopefully for life). The provide a simple, clear call to action.
Do you have other ways to avoid badvertising? One of my favorites is this post from Miriam Hara in her Hoop!a blog: Bad Advertising: It’s Not In The Brief.
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