Top 10 Mistakes In Advertising & How To Avoid Them: Part 10 of 10: Running Lousy Ads

Today is Article number Ten of our series of The Top 10 Mistakes in Advertising and How To Avoid Them.

I appreciate very much that you spent these first nine articles with me.

Ideally they have imparted some experience, knowledge, help for you, to avoid or eliminate some of the advertising and marketing and media hiccups that too many advertisers have had to deal with.

This series I capped at 10. That’s not to say there’s not a host more of them. I’m sure everyone can append to the list or maybe change the order as they see fit and I fully respect that.

But these are the ones that have been the most prominent in my career across multiple agencies, clients, industries and budgets of all sizes

My hope is that they are some guideposts for you as to how to navigate your future activity.

So by way of quick review before we get to our series ender, a quick summary

Number one was a failure to test and to measure your ad and

Number two was not taking the time for ad scheduling.

Number three was failing to research who your target group really is

Number four was changing the look too frequently

Number five – remember I suggested that you’ve gotta dance with who you’ve brought. You take care of your existing clients

Number six was to please do the due diligence and don’t just open your wallet to any ad sales rep

Number seven was spreading yourself too thin and not doing a good job on any one media to start with

Number eight was coming into the campaign with unrealistic expectations of what your ad campaign can do to transform your business overnight

Number nine was giving up on your campaign too soon

Today for Number Ten and this one strikes at the heart of creative and that’s quite simply, Running Lousy Ads.

You’ve seen them, you can probably rhyme two or three off the top of your head just like that.

There is no way to put it delicately but most advertising fails, as high as 90% by some reports, but most advertising fails.

Huh? Ninety percent! Yes, and why you ask?

Well because they don’t excite and engage the reader.

They don’t pique curiosity. They don’t tell the reader to pay attention.

They blend into the background and become invisible.

They are too boring.

Like I said there’s not a way to put this delicately.

But if your message isn’t that engaging to pull someone’s attention, how in the world are you going to get them down to the bottom of the ad when you can’t even get their interest at the top of the ad.

I mentioned Mr. John Caples earlier in this series. He was a prolific ad tester. He was also a very good ad writer and arguably his most famous was an ad he wrote for the US School of Music correspondence where the headline read: … They laughed when I sat down to play the piano but when I started to play…

Then he went through some wonderful storytelling. That headline captivated people through the entire ad and directed them to the clip out coupon to order some music lessons by mail.

It was an unqualified success and it was repeated for decades because it continued to pique the readers’ curiosity.

Your headline makes or breaks your ad and many a seasoned copywriter will tell you just how important those few words are to a getting the reader into the rest of the story.

It can pique curiosity.

It can be Here’s How.

It can be This is Why.

It can be Who Else Wants whatever,

but more than anything else your headline has to draw attention away from everything else that that person is going through at that time and say…

… you really need to read this and you need to see what it is I have to say nothing else is as important as these 95 seconds it’ll take you to read my ad…

That’s what you have to do. To fix this dear readers, well quite honestly you simply have to create better ads.

It all starts with the words. Those 26 letters of the alphabet are your key to sales. Whether you write it for yourself or you have an agency or a professional do it for you, you want ads that are informative, that get the prospect eager to have more of this. Whatever your this happens to be.

To get them into the ads you need to create a great headline.

And a great headline is responsible for upwards of 80% of the success of the ad. It has to stop you and pull you in. It has to have arresting power. You want to sell them don’t you?

You need to get their attention, and if you want to get their attention, stop them with a headline that says… you have to read this now.

Ladies and gentlemen. Thank you it has been my privilege.

I hope this series has been of assistance to you.

I look forward to your feedback electronically or by mail if you’re so inclined.

All of the contact information to reach me can be found in the resource box at the end of this article, directing you to my website. You’ll find a host of paid and free resources there to help you along the way and if I can be of any further assistance it will be my privilege.

This is Dennis Kelly. Thank you.