7 Deadly Sins of Advertising

deadly sins of advertising

Advertising within traditional mediums or on the internet is still advertising. As budgets are shrinking and consumers are spending less, there has been a shift on how businesses in general, especially small businesses market and advertise.  While we may think that all ads are created equal, there are common mistakes that are made.

7 Deadly Sins of Advertising:

1. Wrong Target/Wrong Medium.  The internet is a great resource to determine where your target marketing is and what they are saying, but seems to be underused.  Gen-Y are avid internet users so why would you run an ad in the local newspaper?

2. Promoting Features & Not Benefits. Consumers need to know how the product will benefit them before they will buy. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life consumers seek products that will make life easier or solve a problem.

3. Multiple Messages.  Advertise 1 product/1 aspect of services. Limited budgets tend to make businesses want to showcase all that they have/offer but this is information overload and the consumer will pass over it.

4. Lifeless Headlines.  The headline is what initially captures the attention of the consumer’s eye.  A headline has to, in a split second, attract to want people to read or listen for more. Knowing what your consumer needs and expects is key to a great headline.

5. Excessive Copy/Content.  Less is more. If it looks like too much to read, then it probably is.  People want information and the benefits fast.  Some of the best simple ads are Absolute Vodka and Got Milk.

6. Overuse. Consistency with advertising creates awareness and unaided recall however, utilizing the same exact ad, character, jingle year after year is overuse and after a while, consumers will tune out. Geico cavemen, completely overdone.

7. Copy Cat.  Competitor research is necessary however following what everyone else does will many times remind consumers of the competitor.  Be unique and develop your own identity. Any ad that says “What Happens in X Stays in X” reminds us of Vegas. This is a brilliant headline that is enticing to use but first thought is the originator.

Advertising is not as simple as going with the best deal or throwing something together with an offer that you think people cannot refuse. Business owners are so close to the product/service that thinking about how the consumer will perceive the ad is sometimes overlooked. There are certain industries where the “sins” are committed.  Grocery stores. It is impossible for them to focus on one product.  They are focusing generally on one product within a department.

Traditional advertising has changed over the past 5 years.  With social media, consumers and the media have more of an immediate impact on what is a good ad or a bad ad.  Advertising itself really has not changed, where the ads are placed and the influence of consumers has.

Committed a sin or two? We can fix it!  We’ll take a look at your advertising and media placement and provide tips to ensure you are on the right track.

photo credit: NeoGaboX