September 18, 2013
How Brand Leaders can get great Advertising: the ABC’s of Good Copy
Making great advertising is very hard. Good marketers make it look simple, but they have good solid training and likely some good solid experience. As Brand Leaders sit in the room, looking at new advertising ideas, most are ill-prepared as to how to judge what makes good advertising and what makes bad. It’s a myth that great marketing is learned strictly “on the job”. I also say “you are likely to screw up your first five ads”. ANd if you do one a year, that’s 5 years of advertising. So, how well prepared are you? An ill prepared Brand Leader will more than likely deliver a poor ad. There are fundamentals to help ensure that your instincts are the right instincts. How many hours of training have you had on giving direction to a creative team? How many times did you role-play giving feedback to the agency? How good was the coaching you received on your feedback? Not only do you need the fundamentals through solid training, but you likely need someone coaching you through a role-playing exercise.
How will you show up? Are you ready? Or will you just be another brilliant Brand Leader who can’t seem to make a great ad on their own brand?
Too many Brand Leaders sit there confused, brief in hand, but not sure whether they like it or not sure whether any of the scripts will do much for them. The four questions you should be asking:
- Will this ad attract Attention? (A)
- Does this ad showcase the Brand? (B)
- Are we Communicating our main benefit? (C)
- Will this ad stick in the minds of consumers? (S)
The ABC’S of Advertising
Here’s a potential tool you can take into the room that is very easy to follow along. You want to make sure that your ad delivers on the ABC’S which means it attracts Attention, it’s about the Brand, it Communicates the brand story and Sticks in the consumers mind.
- Attention: You have to get noticed in a crowded world of advertising. Consumers see 6000 ads per day, and will likely only engage in a few. If your brand doesn’t draw attention naturally, then you’ll have to force it into the limelight.
- Branding: Ads that tell the story of the relationship between the consumer and the brand will link best. Even more powerful are ads that are from the consumers view of the brand. It’s not how much branding there is, but how close the brand fits to the climax of the ad.
- Communication: Tapping into the truths of the consumer and the brand, helps you to tell the brand’s life story. Keep your story easy to understand. Communication is not just about what you say, but how you say it—because that says just as much.
- Stickiness: Sticky ads help to build a consistent brand/consumer experience over time. In the end, brands are really about “consistency” of the promise you want to own. Brands have exist in the minds of the consumer.
Buying media and putting something on air does not attract attention for your ad. Why would consumers want to listen to what you have to say. You have to EARN the consumers’ attention. The best way to grab Attention is to take a risk and do something not done before. Here are the 5 ways to attract attention.
- Be Incongruent: This is a great technique to get noticed is by being a bit off kilter or different from what they are watching. A lot of brand leaders are afraid of this, because they feel it exposes them. Avoid being like “wallpaper” If you want a high score on “made the brand seem different”, it starts with acting different.
- Resonate: Connect with the consumer in the true way that they see themselves or their truth about how they interact with the brand.
- Entertain them: Strike the consumers emotional cord, by making them laugh, make them cry, or make them tingle. From the consumers view—they interact with media to be entertained—so entertain them.
- The Evolution of the Art of Being Different: As much as Movies, TV music continues to evolve, so do ads. As much as your art has to express your strategy, it needs to reflect the trends of society to capture their attention. Albino fruit flies mate at twice the rate of normal fruit flies. Be an albino fruit fly!!!
- Location Based: Be where Your consumers are open and willing to listen. The Media choice really does impact attention. Make sure your creative makes the most of that media choice.
There is an old advertising saying “half of all advertising is wasted, but we aren’t sure which half”. Coincidently, the average brand link is 50%. Our goal should always be to get higher. The best Branding comes when you connect the Brand to the Climax of the ad. It’s not about how much branding or how early the branding arrives.
- Be Part of the Story: in the spirit of big ideas, how do you tell a story, using your brand. It’s not how much branding you use, but rather how closely connected the brand to the climax of your ad.
- Is it the Truth: It sounds funny, but if there is a disconnect between what you say, and what you are….then the brand link won’t be there. People will discard the ad.
- Own the Idea Area: Be a bit different—make sure that what you do sets you apart from anyone else.
- Repeat: don’t be afraid of building your brand—and the simplest way to get branding is to repeat and repeat and repeat.
Communicating is about selling. Keep in mind, communication is not what is said, but what is heard. The best way to Communicate is through Story Telling that involves the brand. The modern-day world of the internet allows richness in story telling.
- Start a Dialogue: If you can do a good job in connecting with the consumer, the branding idea can be a catalyst that enables you to converse with your consumer.
- What are you Selling? You have to keep it simple—you only have 29 seconds to sell the truth. Focus on one message…keep asking yourself “what are we selling”.
- Powerful Expression: try to find one key visual that can express what you are selling. This visual can be leveraged throughout
- Find Your “More Cheese”: Many times its so obvious what people want, but we just can’t see it or articulate it.
- Sell the Solution—not the Problem: Brands get so wrapped up in demonstrating the problem, when really it is the solution that consumers want to buy.
We all want our ads to stick. You need to adopt a mindset of “will this idea last for 5 years”. The Best way to Stick is to have an idea that is big enough. You should sit there and say is this a big idea or just an ad?
- Dominant Characteristic: things that are memorable have something that dominates your mind (e.g.: the red-head kid)
- How Big Is the Idea? Its proven that a gold-fish will get bigger with a bigger bowl. The same for ideas.
- Telling Stories: While visuals are key to communicating, in the end people remember stories—that’s how we are brought up—with ideas and morals that are designed to stick.
- Always Add A Penny: With each execution, you have a chance to add something to the branding idea. Avoid duplicating what you’ve done…and try to stretch as much as you can.
- Know Your Assets: There has to be something in your ad that sticks. Know what that is and then use it, in new executions or in other parts of the marketing mix.
If you don’t love the work, how do you expect your consumer to love your Brand
To see a training presentation on Get Better Advertising:
If you are in the mood to see stories on great advertising, here’s a few other stories:
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- Nike’s “Find Your Greatness” Campaign is stealing the Olympics
- Confession: I killed two doctors in 2006
- 10 Best Super Bowl Ads of All Time
ABOUT BELOVED BRANDS INC.: At Beloved Brands, we are only focused on making brands better and making brand leaders better.Our motivation is that we love knowing we were part of helping someone to unleash their full potential. We promise to challenge you to Think Different. We believe the thinking that got you here, will not get you where you want to go. Our President and Chief Marketing Officer, Graham Robertson is a brand leader at heart, who loves everything about brands. He comes with 20 years of experience at companies such as Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer Consumer, General Mills and Coke, where he was always able to find and drive growth. Graham has won numerous new product and advertising awards. Graham brings his experience to your table, strong on leadership and facilitation at very high levels and training of Brand Leaders around the world. To reach out directly, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @grayrobertson1
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