How to write a good ad – Top tips for reaching your target audience

“When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.”

David Ogilvy, Ogilvy on Advertisement (1983)

Advertising is an important part of all business – big and small but there is a skill to getting it right. With the advertising budget sitting tight for many businesses it’s important that it’s done correctly. For this topic we refer to non other than the father of advertising David Ogilvy. (a forward thinker for the advertising world from the 40’s through to 1999 when he died).

Here are his Do’s and Don’ts in a nutshell:

Keep your headlines simple:

Readers do not stop to decipher the meaning of obscure headlines.

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

Select your audience:

When you advertise a product which is consumed only by a special group, it pays to “flag” that group in your headline - MOTHERS, BED WETTERS, GOING TO EUROPE?

Don’t talk down to your customers:

“A consumer is not a moron. She’s your wife. Don’t insult her intelligence, and don’t shock her.”

Use Pictures, Logos & Artwork:

The reader glances at the photograph and asks himself, “What goes on here?” Then he reads the copy to find out.

Repeat your winners:

Scores of great advertisements have been discarded before they have begun to pay off. Readership can actually increase with repetition- up to five repetitions.

Do your research:

“Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.”

Give customers a reason to buy

Why do I need this service? Why is this a good deal? Why should I be interested? Why buy now rather than later? And MOST IMPORTANTLY Why should I choose you?

Make your copy informative so that you can best answer these questions.

“The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be.”

Avoid technical jargon:

Use text that your readers will easily understand.

“It seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think.”

Click here to read more on David Ogilvy’s approach to advertising

Pocket Books can look after all of your advertising needs – print and online. Contact a member of our sales team on (07) 5438 1881 to make sure your business is properly represented in the Pocket Book in your region.