All around the world, marketers can agree that advertising has changed a great deal since the infamous "Mad Men” era. However, the core ideas behind marketing and advertising remain unchanged even in the digital age. Where ad men of the past would use print ads in a local newspaper or magazine to reach their customers, today we use online platforms like social media to promote our work. Although the process is vastly different today than when David Ogilvy and Leo Burnett opened their doors, we can still relate to their expert advice. In the next few paragraphs we will review tips from several advertising and marketing experts.
“Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad.”
- Howard Luck Gossage
This tip is still extremely relevant today, despite a decline in print ads. To be blunt, the typical consumer doesn’t like advertising. Commercials intrude on their favorite shows, radio spots make commutes that much longer, and Facebook ads clog feeds. However, to summarize Gossage, people pay attention to what interests them. This can be especially hard to manage considering the amount of ads we’re exposed to on a daily basis. The best ads are the ones that don’t seem like ads at all. This can be achieved through humor, a good storyline, a relevant topic, or a number of other factors. It’s important to be different, and get your audience’s attention.
“Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your family to read. You wouldn’t tell lies to your own wife. Don’t tell them to mine.”– David Ogilvy
This one might seem obvious to most, but it is important not to lie to your consumers. Not only are there legal consequences to false advertising, but it will also anger prospective customers and result in loss of their trust. Stay true to your product and your customers will keep buying it!
“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at.” – Leo Burnett
In advertising, it’s typically best to keep it simple. Have a clear goal in mind, and stick to it. Your audience will be much more interested in your product if your ad speaks to them, simply and concisely.
“Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.” – Henry Ford
Advertising is a huge part of the world we live in. You should constantly be promoting your product in the most efficient ways to reach potential customers, whether it is through social media, digital ads, or another platform visible to your target audience.
“If you want to understand how a lion hunts, don’t go to the zoo. Go to the jungle.” – Jim Stengel
Ever see an ad and wonder how someone thought it was relatable? It is extremely important to understand your audience before marketing to them. Do your research, such as conducting focus groups or surveys, and make sure you fully understand the people you want to reach. Not doing so will only lead to a failed campaign.
“Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.” –David Ogilvy
This piece of advice is similar to the previous tip. Conducting research and gaining understanding of your audience is crucial to the success of your advertisement. In fact, getting feedback throughout your campaign is also critical for measuring success or lack-there-of. Receiving feedback can only help your future campaigns.
“Advertising shouldn't be like medicine. It should be like candy.” -Jeff Goodby
This is one of my favorite quotes on the topic of advertising. It’s like an advertisement for advertising itself. It’s simple, yet paints a very clear image of what can be achieved in a few words through smart copywriting. Still, there are millions of ads that are more like chores to consumers than enjoyable experiences. Ads like this are considered boring and are often ignored, skipped through, or left unread altogether. It takes a truly creative thinker to bring out the best characteristics of a product and make it irresistible to the targeted audience.
What are some of the best advertising tips you've learned? Share them with us below!
CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).