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Five Timeless Advertising Techniques that Bring Home the Bacon

The very nature of people doesn’t change, but the way they receive communication does. Over the last few decades, society has become more technologically connected. Many of the ways to deliver an advertising message have changed, but not the basic rules for what they contain or the rules for finding the best way to get your message to the right people. If you’re in advertising, you’ll recognize the name David Ogilvy, known as the “father of advertising.” Even though he was successful decades ago, many of the rules are relevant still today.


Get the Consumer’s Attention with a Great Headline

A catchy title for your content entices people to read it. Five times more people read the title or headline than the body copy of the message, so you want it to catch their eye, send a message and be provocative enough to entice readers to venture further.


The Headline Should Have One or More of These Elements

  1. It should be short, yet lively enough to grab the reader’s attention. A good headline provides the reader with an eye-catching preview of what is to follow. Porche’s “Kills Bugs Fast” gets the message across that they’re fast without saying it directly, yet is clever enough to keep the target audience involved and reading.
  2. Make the headline something the target market can relate to in their lives- DeBeers has been doing this for years using a funny twist to this method, with headlines like “Think about it. A divorce costs more” and “Getting Rid of Headaches since 1888.” They target men’s humor, since they purchase the product.
  3. Focus on a feature and make it outstanding- David Ogilvy’s headline for Rolls-Royce focused on one feature, then once the reader is hooked, put 13 more reasons to buy in a list underneath it. “At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in the New Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.”


Tickle the Consumer’s Funny Bone

A little humor goes a long way, particularly at the start of the copy. It helps to create a bond and alert the reader or listener that what they’re about to read, hear or see won’t be mind-exploding boring. It’s a way to keep the consumer’s attention until you get your message across. Humor should be a delicate balance of getting the customer to remember not just the advertising, but the product as well.


Do Your Homework

Doing your homework is a two part process; knowing your customer and once you do that, know everything about them so you can relate to them.

  1. Know Your Customer – Whether you have a concept to market or a product, know who will need it first, before you start your advertising. While you might expect a tool company to market primarily to men and construction experts, if they want to broaden their market, creating an ad to attract a novice in home repair could be their goal. That brings us to the second part.
  1. Know Everything about Your Prospective Market – Start by asking yourself, “Who would use this product for the first time?” What are their demographics, job titles or levels of education? Where do they go for their information? What are the words they search if doing it online? Learn intimately who they are, how they think and all other pertinent information to plan your advertising campaign. It will help you sculpt the type of advertising that will catch your target market’s eye and aid in using the right type of advertising method and location.


Use the KISS Approach

The acronym KISS stands for Keep it simple, stupid and came from the US Navy as the backbone for design, it’s a concept that works for advertising and sales too. Don’t overwhelm the customers with too much jargon when you’re trying to get their attention. Focus on the most important factors. Grab the potential consumer’s attention and present your case in as few words as possible, while making certain you include all the relevant information.


Remember to Sell the Hole, Not the Drill

People buy drills to make holes, not just for the powerful motor, unless they know it will help them make holes better. If you know your audience, you’ll also know their reasons to read your article, buy your product or concept. Focus on the feeling, benefits and results they’ll get. Make your copy reflect the benefits with helpful insightful information to your target audience.