A: It’s the ability to capture a consumer’s attention, even if only for a couple of seconds, and drive them to your web site, storefront, or their own phone to call and speak with you.
In a world where consumers are inundated with ads everywhere they look—web sites, taxi cabs, newspapers, magazines, billboards, etc–it is of the utmost importance to make your design, and message, stand out. You only have a few nanoseconds to make an impression that will—if done correctly—cause an action, or reaction, on the part of the consumer.
While advertising does need to be tailored to the audience, medium and purpose to which it is directed, there are a few basic rules to follow:
1. KEEP IT CLEAN. The more complicated the design the more likely it is for eyes to scan right over it.
2. LESS REALLY IS MORE. When it comes to copy, animation, and colors revert back to that old adage from lower school: Keep It Simple Stupid. This is particularly true of internet advertising. The goal of an ad is to pique someone’s interest enough that they click on your ad to learn more. By keeping the copy tight, and maybe even a little bit ambiguous in some cases, you will garner more clicks to your web site where you have an infinite amount more space to explain your message.
Think of it like this: If Baskin & Robbins didn’t provide a free taste of ice creams, would you ever have anything besides your ‘ole faithful flavor? By providing that little bit for you to sample, they’ve piqued your interest to possibly buy a whole scoop. Just like by giving a little bit of intriguing info on your ad, you will catch someone’s attention and make them want to learn more, which in turn can yield to more sales for your company.
3. WHEN IN DOUBT, CONSULT AN EXPERT. No one is a master of everything, so to makes sure you get the most out of your advertising dollars, look to those who work in the industry for advice.
I often come across clients who think they know exactly what they want in their advertising, yet the statistical results fail to deliver what they are after. This is where I come in to work with them on changing copy, photos, layout, etc. to build a better ad. The client may only design one or two ads they use for all of their marketing and advertising purposes, but those of us in the profession work with hundreds of clients developing many different ads for different purposes. The volume and diversity of designs provides us the benefit of knowing what does and doesn’t work depending on the end goal of each company.
For some more examples of effective ads, check out my graphics portfolio here.
**Photos courtesy of Pizza Solutions.