It’s sometimes good to get creative with advertising. In fact, it’s often your best choice.
The best ads are the ones that break traditional conventions. In an industry where winning people’s attention is half the battle, you’d be encouraged by most advertisers to be a little edgy with your communications.
The ads that do this are the ads that are remembered decades after they first ran, and achieved the job they set out do, which was rocket awareness of the brand or the deal they’re promoting.
However, there are certain unbreakable rules in this industry. These are the rules that always turn to disaster if you ever do decide to bend them.
Whether you’re marketing the next Hollywood blockbuster or working in immigration labor advertising, don’t even think about breaking these five golden rules.
1. Don’t be misleading
If you mislead the viewer of your advertisement and they find out, that’s their trust broken forever. You’d do well to sell another product to them — or any of their friends who they tell about the incident (and boy do people like to talk when they feel they’ve been wronged by a big company!).
There are scales of deception. There are lies, such as online advertisements that claim to be sending you to claim a free gift, but end up pointing you to pornography.
Then, there is unclear communication which is mistaken for deliberate deception, such as a certain sandwich not being included in a meal deal, even though there is no small print stating this.
Sadly, the truth is that the customer will react to both of these misleading situations in the same way.
2. Don’t offend anyone
Yes, poking fun at certain demographic works brilliantly in stand-up comedy. Making people laugh works brilliant in advertisements. However, this doesn’t mean that these two outcomes work together hand in hand.
If you offend even a small minority of a certain demographic, you’re playing with fire. There are many occasions where groups lash out a brand, and the damage done to their reputation, even outside the offended demographic, borders on irreparable.
Leave the risque comedy to the professional comedians.
3. Don’t be long-winded
Attention spans are shorter than ever. Meanwhile, as a society, we’re exposed to thousands of advertisements per day. It’s been suggested we subconsciously tune out the vast majority of them. What this all means is that you have seconds to make an impression on someone, no matter what the medium for the advert is.
Don’t go thinking you can go easy once you’ve got their attention either. On the TV, they’re only a click away from another channel. On the internet, they’re a couple of clicks away from a cat video at all times. Make your point succinctly at all times. This has always been the best road to success in advertising, and it is proving more vital in the digital age than ever before