If people don’t remember your ads then you’ll probably get fewer sales, but a really memorable ad has to do more than stick in the memory of your reader (or viewer) – it needs to remind them of your product.

Think about the ads you’ve seen in print or on TV – which ads stand out for you? Now what was the product they were advertising? Can you remember all of the products, even when the ad really stood out?

Car ads on TV are so numerous that a car driving through amazing countryside or even innovative approaches featuring unusual situations don’t necessarily pin the brand to the car. Probably the best ads have been ones with a story like the Renault Clio ads and the Vauxhall family where the kids commented on their parents behaviour in a serious case of role reversal stick in my mind. The transformer was memorable, but I’m not sure which car it was for!

However, there was a very well known luxury car ad that aired recently, starring Kylie Minogue. There was a big discussion on Radio 2 about how fab Kylie looks, but nobody could remember the make of the car! Celebrities don’t always sell.

Which brings us to your own advertising:

  • What do you want your ad to do – get people to pick up the phone, build awareness, create an image?
  • What will get people’s attention?
  • How will you embed your product or service in the ad so they’ll remember it?
  • Don’t fall into the trap of focusing on what it is you’re advertising – ensure that you deliver the emotional triggers that encourage people to buy. The ‘what’s in it for me?’ that gives people an idea of what it would be like to actually own the product or experience the service.

    So not ‘a relaxing massage’, but ‘take time out from your busy life and just let us massage your stress away’.

    Not ‘a high quality gizmo’, but ‘a gizmo that won’t let you down when you most need it’ or ‘a gizmo that you’ll only buy once – it’ll last you a lifetime’.

    Not ‘a unique approach to time management’, but ‘this time management process will help you to get 30 hours of results out of every 24 hour day!’

    You get the idea? Clever ads may win awards for the advertising agencies, but they don’t necessarily make sales. Now start creating ads that really help people to remember what you do.
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