Not long ago, I wrote about how advertising works. I used the analogy of a boy at a middle school dance who has spent absurd amounts of time making himself look great, but none into asking anyone to dance.
That post covered the need for an ad to inspire action. This month, let’s look at how to do that, and the big mistake that great ads never make.
(Note: When I talk about ads, I’m talking about websites, print ads, TV ads, fundraising letters… everything. This has very broad applications.)
Everyone is selfish. It’s a fact. When faced with a spending decision, we’re out to get the most benefit we can. Ignoring this simple fact is one of the most common mistakes made in advertising.
Many ads simply display a brand and look nice. Some ask the reader to buy, which is a major step up from just showing off how great you look. But, it’s not enough. Such an ad is being selfish while forgetting that the reader is also selfish.
What’s in it for them?
The best ads don’t ask the prospect to try their product out of the goodness of their heart. The best ads ask the prospect to try their product because it’s going to provide them with the most benefit. The best ads make the competition irrelevant.
Take Dove for instance. Do you know how much of a Dove beauty bar is moisturizer? It’s one quarter. I know, because their ads mentioned that fact over and over again. Now, is there any other beauty bar that has that much moisturizer in it? Not that I know of. Dove stands alone. It made the competition irrelevant with one line.
But, the moisturizer line doesn’t just make Dove unique. It sets up the benefit statement. Being made with moisturizer is a feature. What the consumer gets from that feature is softer, clearer skin. And that’s what great Dove ads spent the most verbiage saying.
And those ads worked. Dove has been tremendously successful.
When you’re crafting an appeal in hopes of getting someone to part with their money, don’t make the old mistake of asking them to buy without reason.
Do what great ads do: inspire action. Inspire action by showing how you’re unique and how that uniqueness will benefit the prospect.