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Good Ads vs. Great Ads

The world is full of “good” ads that were clearly made by professionals that beautifully highlight a product or service. Yet these ads rarely remain in the minds of consumers because they do not have that extra special something that makes them great. So what exactly separates the great ads–and therefore the best brands–apart from the competition? Let’s find out.

They Target Specific Audiences

Great ads from killer brands have specific audiences in mind. These ads emerge following lengthy research periods that look at an audience’s buying patterns and habits, interests, and preferred forms of communication. A full understanding of a target market is crucial in determining the advertisement’s theme and tone to appeal to the audience’s emotions. People frequently make buying decisions based on their feelings, so ads that tug at their heartstrings are those that make an impact. Trying to appeal to “everyone,” or an overly-broad market results in watered-down ads that can injure the brand’s image.

They Break The Advertising Mold

The best ads go beyond typical advertising means to grab consumer attention in whole new ways. McDonald’s “seed bombs” are a great example. The fast-food giant added their logo to highway shoulders in California, where it is illegal to dig up the poppy, aka the state flower. These logos were made of poppy seeds, making it illegal to remove them. Talk about a way to make your advertisement stick!

Other examples of ads that broke if not demolished the advertising mold include Domino’s reverse graffiti. The pizza chain washed water and eco-friendly detergent over stencils of their name, logo, and the words “American Legends” to create clean patches of street. Nifty, huh?

If your ad isn’t unique in some way, it will fall into the advertising gutter labeled “Good to Mediocre.” Don’t be afraid to get a bit crazy since ads infused with a little wackiness are the ones that stick in consumer minds. If you still aren’t convinced, ask a few friends and family members about their favorite ads of late. They’ll most likely tell you about those they found hilarious, such as the Lil’ Sweet commercials from Dr. Pepper, or ads that struck them in sentimental or compassion-based ways.

They Are Consistent

Great ads are consistently great. Regardless of the form they come in, the best brands understand that consistency is key to maintaining their audience strongholds. No consumer is going to stay loyal to a brand if they aren’t consistent in their products or services because to do so is a gamble every time. Consumers want to know the money they are putting into a product or service will provide the results they want, whether it be voluminous hair, a full stomach, or a cleaning product that gets difficult stains off of walls. Consistency indicates adherence to high standards of quality that consumers can count on.

They Are Competitive

Have you ever viewed an ad you thought was pretty neat only to see a wow-worthy ad featuring similar products/services from a competitor? Great ads leave good ads in their wake because they have that competitive edge. The people behind these brands do not sit back and hope their ads will have the effect they want. Instead, they are constantly looking for bigger, better ways to get their message to their target audiences. They may take cues from the competition, but they always one-up their competition. The idea is to continually exceed customer expectations.

They’re Everywhere

Great ads are everywhere. They are never limited to one advertising channel; instead, they are seen around the country if not the world in various ways. And while this used to be a challenge for small and medium-sized brands with limited budgets, the internet has leveled the playing field considerably. Small and medium-sized brands may not have the means to advertise in world-renowned magazines and other forms of print media, nor are they necessarily capable of creating glossy TV ads. What they can do is develop their presence on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google+ are all readily available means of reaching target audiences, and any related ad campaign options cost very little. With Facebook advertising, for example, you can boost a post for $20 to ensure it gets seen a whole lot. This frequently results in more likes, more site traffic, more conversions, and of course more brand awareness.

They’re From Passionate Individuals

Passion is always inspiring. The people behind the most effective, compelling advertisements are passionate about what they do and want to share that passion with the rest of the world. Passion begets enthusiasm and unbridled joy, something most if not all consumers want in on. This again hits emotional notes that encourages consumers to click that “buy” button or make that in-store purchase. You can’t fake passion, and most people know when something isn’t genuine. So if the ad you are currently working on isn’t something you really care about, guess what? That will become obvious to consumers who will look elsewhere for similar products and services.

Wrapping Up

Great ads take time to develop, and that’s okay. Don’t pressure yourself or feel you have to come up with something mind-blowing in the next 24 hours. Work with your team, as a melting pot of ideas almost always leads to something amazing. Think about what message you want to convey, what ads piqued and held your interest in the past, and what makes your brand different from the competition. The best brands are statement brands and ones that stay in the minds of target audiences.

Give your audience a reason, or better yet, many reasons, to choose your products or services. If there’s no incentive, there’s no great ad.

Softline Solutions helps brands all over the country develop their voice every day. Our team of rock stars offers the assistance you need to increase brand awareness, including pay-per-click campaigns, Facebook and display ad campaigns, remarketing help, and business and consumer targeting among other services. Give us a shout today to learn how we will help your brand–it’s our passion and our specialty.