Nowadays, brands want a direct connection with consumers. And customers want a relationship with brands who embrace their differences and understand their needs. This means that any ad campaign has to stand out amid the noise, and communicate directly with your customer base.
This may sound daunting, but don’t despair! In essence, advertising is no different from way back In 1869, when Francis Ayer, at the age of 20, created the first full-service agency called N.W. Unfortunately, the advent of digital seems to have the clouded judgement of many rational marketing professionals. The key thing that has been lost in recent times is that whatever channel you are advertising on, the principles remain the same.
Too many brands have abandoned good sense because they think digital is different to outdoor. Since day one, every good campaign starts with a simple clear strategy, and good creative is good creative whatever the medium.
So what makes a great ad? Once a clear proposition has been established, there has always been several common building blocks among the best-performing ads, regardless of category or brand.
Great advertising almost always tells us a good story. Great ads have clear, understandable, and entertaining storylines that engage the audience and pull them into the world of the advertised brand. If your brand isn’t telling a good story, it should be.
Simpler is generally better, and this applies to advertising too. A simple story, well told, is easily remembered. Too many messages and complex stories create confusion and obscure your storyline. It’s that simple.
Ads that are “for people like me” are more effective. They speak directly to the consumer and what they care about. Including situations and characters that viewers can relate to make it easier for viewers to engage and care about your advertising.
Audience-appropriate humour is another hallmark of great ads. What an 18-year-old guy attending high school and a 65-year-old retired schoolteacher find funny is probably not the same. Age appropriate humour can uplift your audience’s spirits and contribute mightily to memorability.
The best ads have strong branding by definition. An ad can’t be a strong ad if no one remembers that it’s for your brand. Well-branded ads communicate their brand through clarity of their brandmark. A viewer should instantly know that the ad is from your brand – not left guessing. This hold true for all media from a viral video to a magazine ad.
So, summing up life isn’t so different now to the early days of advertising. The principles are the same. Creatives – start with a blank piece of paper. Get a great idea. Be brave, be bold. And brands – to stand out from the crowd, choose ideas that may just outside your comfort zone – it will pay dividends!
If you need a ad campaign that helps you stand out from the crowd, we can help. Or approach is simple – we listen, understand, and crack on. We never let egos get in the way of creating great work for you.