As people look through newspapers and magazines, one of the things most people become almost ‘blind’ to is the advertisements.
The reason is that advertisers have a tendency to create advertisements in exactly the same manner as everyone else.
After a while, page after page of them tends to neutralise each other so that people automatically shut off to anything that looks like an advertisement.
We’ve been suggesting to advertisers for some time that their advertisements would have greater success if they looked more like the editorial content of a publication – or at least be different to the normal.
It’s interesting that just recently in browsing through some material collected over the years I came across’ How to write a good advertisement’ by the late great, Victor Schwab.
Victor O. Schwab was one of the most famous direct marketing copywriters of all time. His work for Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” made it a best-selling book in the 1930s and one of the all-time great classics in self-help books.
You still see it in book stores and advertised on-line today.
Schwab wrote many famous advertising campaigns and a book regarded as one of the bibles of advertising copywriting, “How to Write a Good Advertisement”, in which he mentions how to design winning layouts.
He makes the point that an advertisement with a non-professional appearance can be more effective – ‘looking as though the advertiser has a genuinely helpful message for the reader – knowing better than anyone else the merits of his product, he might have sat down and written it himself’.
Most of his advertisements had a considerable amount of text.
The trouble is that many advertisers, especially in business to business marketing, seem to have an urge to create poncy advertisements with gimmicky headlines like ‘Leading the way in resourcing tomorrow’ and similar sorts of stuff.
If you asked advertisers of this ilk what they’re trying to do– they’d say they’re ‘branding’. As if someone is going to read their material and associate the company name with some high-falutin’ catchline.
Anyway, an advertisement that appeared in a number of papers a while ago that caught my eye was the following by Hong Kong suit maker, BMV Bespoke. Victor Schwab would have given it strong brownie points.
It’s an advertisement designed to pull results for the company- something that surely, every advertisement should aspire to.
Just take a look at its structure…
- A heading that gets to the nitty gritty – what the company is offering.
- A good opening line: “Spending a great deal of money on a suit doesn’t guarantee a quality fit. Even after a lengthy search many men have found purchasing a suit off the rack to be a disappointing experience”. It then goes on to say that having a custom- made suit is a different story as they’re made to a person’s exact measurements.
- The advertisement then goes on to explain the service- how a suit can be personalised etc.
- It then has a call to action: ‘Book an appointment’
- It then goes one important step further – making an offer of a package that would be hard to refuse for anyone interested in having a nice suit.
It’s a great lesson in good advertising that everyone could learn from.