Nuts & Bolts: Creative
Creating an effective print ad is not easy. The environment is cluttered. And people read newspapers and magazines for the content, not the ads. So, our ads need to attract attention, be relevant, clearly communicate and compel the reader to take some kind of action.
A fair—but tall—order, you say? Here’s four secret weapons:
Color. Science tells us that color plays a strong role in our subconscious judgment. In fact, research indicates that color can improve readership, brand recognition, recall and response.
According to one study by Strath-more Press, ads in color are actually read up to 42 percent more often than the same ads in black and white.
Magnet words. Eye-scanning studies confirm that the human eye gravitates to certain words. I call them “eye magnet” words. As seasoned direct marketers, we all know that “free” leads the pack. Similarly attractive are the words “introducing,” “announcing,” “new,” “now,” “finally” and “soon.” And Robert Levine, in his book, “The Power of Persuasion: How We’re Bought and Sold,” cites studies that have proven the words “easy,” “quick” and “improved” can all increase product sales.
Provide a reason. Advertisers and marketers consistently rank low on the list of those to be trusted. However, research into the matter has shown that people are more likely to believe what you say if you give a reason. For example, saying your store’s raincoats are now half-price won’t pull in nearly as many sales as saying they are now half-price because your buyer made a mistake and ordered too many.
Offer proof. Social scientists say that when people aren’t sure of what to do, they look to others like them—or to people they admire—and mirror their actions. This is called the principle of social proof. It’s also why customer testimonials and celebrity endorsements will make your print ads more effective.
Nancy is the Chief Creative Officer at Wilde Agency. Her specialty is blending best-of-breed creative with decision science to prompt response. Along the way, she’s been named NEDMA Direct Marketer of the Year, Ad Club Top 100 Creative Influencer, OMI Top 40 Digital Marketing Strategist, and Andi Emerson Award recipient. Prior to Wilde Agency, Nancy held senior creative management positions with Hill Holliday, Mullen and Digitas.