What makes an ad timeless? Is it the ability to appeal to a wide audience? Is it the gift of insight? Is it because their jingle just can’t – let’s be honest here, won’t – get out of your head?
There’s got to be more to it than that, right? After all, there are only a handful of ads that have spanned the ages, those that people remember for years and decades to come, even if they weren’t even alive when the ad came out.
There’s a Feeling . . . .
When it comes to advertising, you’ve got to shift your focus from emblazoning a picture of your product into the public’s mind. Good ads that span the test of time typically don’t always show the product, itself. There are very discreet emotional and associative triggers that evoke subconscious responses in the viewer. They don’t photographically memorize your product, but they do walk away with something more abstract than that.
That’s because they subtly manipulate what you feel or remember by using very basic memory triggers.
Connect With Your Audience
It’s not enough to be a creative thinker. That’s a great start in marketing, but original thinking shouldn’t be practiced just for the sake of being clever or witty. Your first priority should be to connect with your audience.
You need to build trust, so your content should be helpful, insightful, or interesting for your target audience. That means you have to do your research first. Know everything you possibly can about both your topic or product and your target audience. Then let your unconscious mind loose to see what pops up. Originality is great, but it should always be grounded in connection.
It’s just as important that you research and understand how your prospective customers think, speak, and get their information. The better you are at understanding how they think, the better you’ll be able to connect with them. You need to match their vernacular in everything you write, whether that be an online ad graphic, television spot, or blog post. At the same time, it may not be a good idea to let things get too down and gritty. If your goal is to create an ad to last the ages, you want to be sure that it will clearly be understood for a long time to come!
Develop Your Personality
You need to have a unique selling proposition, a public personality that defines who you are and what you do. Think about the Budweiser holiday commercials. Aside from the beautiful scenery and captivating animals carrying an old-fashioned sleigh of the product through the snow, they do little more than convey personality and feeling. But they’re hard to forget once you’ve seen one. Budweiser wants you to think of them as a person, not a company. The commercials end with a holiday wish, similar to one you would say to your neighbor or friends. That creates a sense of warmth and friendship.
The Father of Advertising, David Ogilvy was once called “the most sought-after wizard in today’s advertising industry” by Time Magazine. He once said:
“There isn’t any significant difference between the various brands of whiskey, or cigarettes, or beer. They are all about the same. And so are the cake mixes and the detergents, and the margarines . . . . The manufacturer who dedicates his advertising to building the most sharply defined personality for his brand will get the largest share of the market at the highest profit.”
Your brand’s public personality defines who you are and what you do. The more sharply defined that personality is, the more successful you’ll be as a content marketer.
When creating a print ad, or a video or commercial that utilizes on-screen writing, the font that you choose can make a huge difference in how consumers perceive your product. For instance, when consumers were given a choice in gourmet cheeses, they were more likely to buy the cheese emblazoned with an ornate, cursive font rather than the same cheese packaged with clearly legible font. A more obscure or difficult-to-read font makes someone have to focus hard to read the message. An enigmatic cursive font gives off the perception of a premium product.
Fancy font also boosts recall. When someone has to pay attention to read the script and spend a little more time concentrating on it, the more likely they are to retain it.
Just remember, creating that special, stick-to-your-mind ad that will not be easily forgotten is all about paying close attention to the details. Check out this article showing off some of the world’s most beloved ads, ads that we just can’t seem to forget no matter how much time has passed since their debut. See how many of them you remember!