Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Clueless Advertising

Want to know why most ads flop? It’s usually because some creative idiot and art director got all giddy and excited about the graphics they were making and forgot about the message that they had to project. Now don’t get me wrong, a client can mess up their own advertising just as much if not more when they put their two cents in but 9 times out of 10 it comes down to the creatives who muck it up.

The 1st Law of Advertising states that Fancy graphics with weak vague cute headlines and captions will always lose out to ads with strong user benefit messages and user self interest oriented headlines and captions.

The way to generate winners time and time again is to think content. Start by assuming that the ad or mailer only has money for black and white, and the whole entire story needs to be said in words NO graphics! After the complete story is told in words then go back and put in graphics that complement and complement the headlines, captions and content so it will have a complete synergistic impact on your audience.

With poor thinking coming out of Michigan Avenue (Chicago) and Madison Street (NYC), Creatives continue to put the cart before the horse and squander a lot of good money. Keep your focus on your target audience and what you want to say to them

Larson note: Am I being overly nasty here? I don’t think so. I can’t write, I sure can’t create and I can’t produce a single graphic to save me life. Yet, I know what works; I know what attracts me, my friends and their friends. Having spent 20 years as an ad man in an agency don’t just go and write me off all you creatives out there. Remember that when your clients make money, you will make more money. Simple, direct and pointed works every time.

I am also NOT a big fan of creative by committee. Give me a writer, a creative, and a strong rep, let me lock them in a room together and I can give you the best advertising you will ever see.

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Telesales & Target Marketing Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

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