Advertising is making known; calling public attention to a product, service, or company by means of paid announcements, so as to affect perception or arouse consumer desire to make a purchase or take a particular action. It can be defined as "the nonpersonal communication of information usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature about products, services, or ideas by identified sponsors through the various media."
"The best ads are written from the heart. Write down the good ideas and the wild ideas. Don't try to edit your ideas at the start. Don't put a brake on your imagination." - John Caples
Writing an ad is an art. There is an importance of creating an ad concept and using words while creating an effective copy. Here is a small effort to understand effective ad writing.
Importance of Copywriting
Karon Thackston says that no matter how beautiful the ads are, no matter how effective the words are-the only thing that matters is the display of the ad. Its beauty gets elevated and appreciated only when it has proper copywriting.
The copy of any ad is the salesman. A good copy creates a desire to buy and closes the sale. Once you have found a winning sales idea, don't change it. Your client may tire of it after a year or two. He sees all the ads from the layout stage to the proof stage and finally the publication stage. Explain to him that when he is tired of the campaign, it is just beginning to take hold of the public.
There are some different rules to developing a copy like frequently mentioning the brand name and key consumer benefit, and to conclude by linking back to its beginning, with a strong call to some kind of action. While the second rule is to keep the format simple, uncluttered, and straightforward.
Whenever you write a copy, your aim should be only your customer and not your product. If it appeals to emotions and solves problems, it has done its job. It should be the answer to the customer's question of-what is there in it for him?
Elements Of A Good Ad
Writing an ad is based on the AIDA theory. Get Attention. Make it interesting. Let it produce a desire in the reader's mind. Influence the reader to take an action.
In the clamor and clutter of sight and sound, and the competition for the reader's eye, ear, and heart, it's imperative that you compete successfully for attention. There should be some element in the ad-whether it's the headline or the illustration or the layout-that attracts the eye or ear, and arouses sufficient interest to warrant attention to the message. And the copy itself must sustain that attention.
Once you've captured the reader's attention, you've got to say or show something to sustain interest, or the message will not be heard.
The ad must generate a desire to accept what you have to say about what you have to offer; to want to do business with you.
The ultimate aim of an ad is to generate action on the part of the reader or listener; to cause him to want to do something as per your strategy such as buy your product or service, or in the case of professional services marketing, it might be to either generate an inquiry or accept a selling situation. On the other hand, just getting a client to think about you in a specific way is an action, too. That's what institutional advertising is all about.
Other Things to be Covered in an Advertisement
Promise of Benefit
Something in the ad should promise the reader or the listener some benefit that will accrue from accepting the ad's premises.
The message of the ad must be believable and not misleading.
The ad should be persuasive. It should sell or generate the need for the service you offer, and project your service as superior to others.
Outline for creating an ad concept:
Outline for writing an ad effectively:
- Believe in your personal experience. Put yourself as the customer.
- Learn from the experience of others.
- Write from your heart.
- Talk with the manufacturer/producer.
- Study the product.
- Review previous advertising campaigns.
- Study your competitor's ads.
- Study testimonials from customers.
- Solve the customer's problem.
- Know your objectives.
- Identify with their problem or need.
- More you tell, the more you sell.
- Measure promotional efforts.
- Be more specific.
- Write short sentences, with easy and familiar words.
- Make sure each word is exactly the right one to convey your meaning.
- Write a headline keeping the reader's interest in mind.
- Define the solution and provide a hint to the reader.
- Explain the solution for the problem.
- Show the proof by specific results, testimonials, or a guarantee.
- Explain how you are different from your competitors.
- Offer free information, e.g. information packs or catalogs.
- Make the title interesting.
- Put the reader in a hurry by offering a ending date.
- The ad should be readable and noticeable, so put your logo and text clearly.
- Highlight your website, email, and toll-free numbers.
- Use a coupon or response device.
- Use Serif or Arial in layout, as such fonts are easy to read.
- Use the present tense and active voice.
A copy is successful when the concept and words are matched in the correct format on paper. Even color management depends on what concept or message you want to convey. Highlighting key words is necessary in mediums like classifieds.
Using a full page with just one word attracts more attention if the word is very powerful. On the other hand, ads can also convey a detailed message by writing a thousands words, if necessary.