What Do Your Ads Say?

admin, 05 August 2011, No comments
Categories: Advertising
Tags: , , , ,

Make a list of everything you think should be
included at one time or another, in one of your
ad, be it radio, newspaper or Little Jimmie’s
class play program.

Everything. Experience, staff, facility, product.
The list will be quite long. Take the time to do
it now, before you read the rest of this article.

Next, take a hard look at your list, pencil in
hand, and cross off all items that are about YOU
(including YOUR staff, YOUR building, YOUR
ranking, awards etc). Now, x-out all the
FEATURES of your products or service.

The number one rule, the only rule, for great
advertising is “Sell the Benefits”.

Take a poll, people don’t care if you have the
largest selection in town. It means nothing that
“New Stuff is arriving daily”. They want to know
what you or your product can do for them. WIIFM or
“What’s In It For Me?” Ease pain and you gain.

You see and hear ads everyday that miss the point
entirely. Giant billboards with pictures of the
medical clinic staff standing in front of a wall
of awards. Picture of a guy with a wrench and the
words “See me for all your plumbing needs.” Three
little girls on TV yelling an unintelligible
slogan about their daddy’s store. It’s all about
them. It should be all about the customer.

Did you see the one on TV where a guy gets the
water cooler dumped on him because he bought the
good software? What picture does that tell? It
would have been better if the guy told me (from a
sunny beach location) the boss gave him another
week of vacation because the new software saved
the company 40 million bucks. Benefits.

How about the newspaper ad with the picture of
the funeral home building and how they have been
around for 85 years? Benefit?

Ads about “you you you” can look and sound really
great, to you, you, you. We all love to talk about
ourselves. Where are the benefits? What hook does
your face on a billboard use to bring customers
through the door? Your face is NOT a benefit.

We all grew up thinking “me me me”. Remember how
excited you got when you first saw your name or
picture in the newspaper? Even the school paper.
It was a BIG deal. “Me me me.” Great for your ego,
but take that thinking to your advertising and it

The first time you make the list and cross out the
me me mees and all the features, you may have only
one or two points left to promote. Make a new list
and think “them them them”. Think benefits.

The ads that stick in your head are the ones that
promise to make your life easier. The appliance
store promising to deliver at the appointed time.
You don’t have to stay home all day waiting for
the truck. A real benefit. It makes no difference
if the TV is made by Acme or Zenith? They will
deliver on time. Let’s go there. Benefits.

The company that says their plumber will show up
clean, on time, and not smell. Another benefit!

Who cares what a financial advisor looks like, but
tell people they can retire and not eat dog food
and you get their attention. Benefit.

Funny thing, the ads about benefits are the ones
we make the mental note to remember. Hmmm.

Sell the benefits and you don’t have to sell

For more about advertising, get my article “What’s
Your Selling Sentence?” Send a blank eMail to


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