This quick guide covers the essentials of creating an ad for print or web that captures people's attention and communicates a clear message.

Having a clear message or objective and knowing the target market are critical to effective advertising. Focus is crucial – a small ad does not need to show the 20 things a product can do. Hone in on the most important point, make the message clear and not open to interpretation. 

The ad should encourage the consumer to take the next step – enquire or buy. It needs to inform, persuade and remind the consumer.

 

Make sure these bases are covered to give your advertisement the best chance:

Make them look – Use an attention-grabbing headline and/or image. 


Make them feel – The ad should address the ‘what’s in it for me’ factor. Allow the ad to show the consumer what the product will do for them. The best way to do this is with storytelling (you don’t have to write a novel, a single image can tell a tale).


Make sure it looks great – Good design, layout and use of colour will help the message get across. 
Effective use of white space (or clear space) will help the message stand out – a cluttered ad is unlikely to be effective. 

 

Make them do something – Add a call to action – tell the reader to “buy while stocks last”, “visit the website”, or “call today for a free quote”.

Make it consistent – Always reinforce your branding and values in the ad. 

Make it special – Communicate why your product or service is better than the rest. Ask yourself, what sets it apart?