How to write ads
A COUNTDOWN IN 8 E-Z STEPS
The print ad is THE signature ability of a commercial artist since an ad must communicate everything in a single flash. The task is to boil down from all relative facts one silver bullet. All other formats -- television, radio, brochures -- are actually easier to do because there is more time to get the message across. The skill is like the skill of the marksman: easy to describe but takes years to become expert. Nevertheless, the countdown to ad creation has 8 basic steps. Here they are in a nutshell. The important thing is not to follow a sequence, but to make sure no step is omitted. However, before you begin any countdown, there is always first an objective. To get to the moon was the objective that preceeded many NASA countdowns. In advertising, there is always an objective. What do you want the ad to accomplish? To create sales. To get the viewer to come in for a test drive. To get people to phone for more info. To get them to visit our website. Whatever it is, that is the objective. With that established, you're ready to start:
8. RESEARCH: Study the product, customer and competition. This is known as the Strategic Triad. If it's food, eat it. If it's a car, drive it. If it's a hotel, stay there. If it's a book, read it. If it's a place, go there. Talk to customers. Try the competition, too.
7. ANALYZE: From all your research and personal experience with the product identify the things that stand out about the product, the qualities which differentiate it from its competition, or the misconceptions which would hinder its acceptance.
6. MARKET: Select the market niche where the product will have the best chance of succeeding.
5. PUBLIC: What target public will most likely accomplish the objective? A commercial artist must know the public and get in their heads.
4. STRATEGY: What is the one thing you will say that will get the target public to accomplish the objective? It's not about the product; it's about the benefit.
3. GROUP IDEAS: Rough concepts are drawn up and considered. Now you are into the execution phase. Select the best 3 ideas.
2. CREATION: Write the ads, solicit testimonials, create the props, shoot the photos, run the taste tests.
1. FINAL LAYOUT: Do the final layout of the ads using actual photos, copy and images and send them off for production.
Again, this countdown is like explaining how to be an Olympic marksman in three E-Z steps: 1) Ready, 2) Aim, 3) Fire!
Easy to read. Logical. Makes sense. But if we just shipped you off to the Olympic Games rifle in hand, the odds are you would not be bringing home any gold medals.
You will find much more information in advertising Knowledge Center with free articles and online books. But until you invest a solid couple of years of hard work, studying and creating ads under expert supervision with live critiques, the chances are remote you'll hit an advertising bulls eye. Like anything else, it takes hard work to become expert. And in today's world of high-quality information online and accessible education, only experts thrive.
PS: For more information on why there happen to be eight basic steps, read my free online book, How to CREATE! It is a fascinating read guaranteed to enhance your understanding of the creative process. And you won't find it anywhere else but on www.SteveHallCreative.com.