Tips for an effective ad campaign

“Is a Big Mac still a Big Mac if it has bacon?” This is the question being debated by McDonald’s customers all over the UK since bacon was added to its iconic Big Mac burger last month. Clearly a clever cross-media advertising campaign, the debate has gone viral on social media. Here, Carla Stanton, graphic designer at Stone Junction shares her top tips for making an ad campaign successful. 

You want your advert to attract attention and entice the reader – not give them the entire story, scare them off or showcase a dodgy sounding offer that will have them guessing if it is too good to be true. You need to think about how to get your audience engaged and wanting to find out more.

Know your audience
Keep the target market in mind from the planning of the initial concept right through to the end of the campaign. The point of advertising your brand is to reach your audience and get results. Without truly understanding your customers, you will find it difficult to make an impact or know whether it was successful or not.

Be clever but don’t be misleading
If you can make a claim that is clearly false but obviously satirical it is acceptable and will contribute to an effective advertising campaign but avoid giving in to the art of deception — it will not end well.

Keep the message simple 
You don’t want to confuse the reader, instead you want to capture an audience, so keeping it simple and open allows the ad to work more effectively. Hone in on your key messaging and USP’s.

Use text wisely 
Keep the amount of copy to a minimal. Simple, sharp and snappy sentences work far better than long winded fluff. Get to the point and be straight up. Avoid having too much text and let the images do the talking unless you are using typographic art for visual intrigue.

Think visually
Use colour to tell a story or make your audience stop and stare. Think about using different scales and perspectives or visual metaphors. White or negative space can also work well in adverts. Also consider the placement of your ad on the page or screen and this will help you identify what will look best. 

Speak to your audience
Including a clever call to action works, so you don’t necessarily have to be afraid of shouting about it, especially if it is part of your key message. Just remember to be mindful of where you want to use the ad and if it might need rethinking to cater for certain outlets. For example, platforms like Facebook state that you cannot have more than 20 per cent of an ad made up of text – even if it is paid for.

To reap the fruits of your labour you must give the audience a taste of what you can offer them and get them hooked in a compelling way. 

Photo from Wikipedia

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