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Powerful Words in Advertisements  

By: Selena McIntyre 


All great advertisements have powerful copy. These ads have special ways to convince us that we need to buy their product. But how do these words actually make us buy? This article will show you how to choose money-making words for your ads. 


Always start with a plan. In order to do this, you must: 

First decide who your target market is.  

How do you want to reach them?  

What do you want them to know about your product or service?  

How is your product different / better than your competition?  


Make a list of your products’ features. Then take each one of these features and pretend to be your customer. Ask "What’s in it for me?" about each benefit you’ve listed. The answers to these questions are your product or services benefits. Benefits are the key ingredient to selling your product. You are now ready to design your ad. 


The A-I-D-A (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) Method is very helpful when designing powerful advertisements. 




Getting the attention of your target audience is the first thing your ads should do. People see hundreds of ads every single day, but they only read a small portion of these ads. This is why getting the consumers attention is the most important part of designing advertisements. If you don’t succeed in this area, potential customers will pass over your ad and possibly your product! 


Headlines are the best way to grab the attention of your target market. Use the benefits you listed earlier to create a good headline. Use exciting words in your headlines, such as: Breakthrough, Incredible, How to ___, Announcing, Revealing, Discover, FREE, Guaranteed, Powerful, Proven, Shocking, and Uncovered.  


You may also ask a question that can be answered by using your product. When you start your ad with a question, the reader will usually mentally answer the question, and keep reading your ad. 


Another good technique for headlines is to shock your readers. Make a statement that makes readers take a second look at your ad. For example, if you are selling alarms, your headline could be "How to Break into Homes with Alarm Systems." Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Would you read it? 


Keep your headlines short, and be sure they make sense to your target market. In outdoor advertising, the shorter ads are the most effective. 


Colors also grab attention of passing motorists. Brighter colors, like yellow and red get the most attention. Black and yellow, when combined, also receive great responses. Please click where indicated to learn what colors appeal to which target markets, or to see examples of proven winning color combinations. 


Graphics will also help your ad get stand out in a crowd. Be careful; make sure they are big enough to be seen from passing motorists. Details are very hard to see on billboards so keep your graphics simple. Please be sure to make the graphics relate to your product or service.  



Once you have the attention of your target audience, you must try very hard to keep it. But hurry, because you don't have a lot of time before the passing motorists either pass your sign, or lose interest. Do not waste time and, or money trying to appeal to people who do not, will not, or can not use their product.  




In order to keep your potential customers attention and interest, you must make your product or service exiting, and intriguing. Use your products benefits to do this.  


You may also want to make your ads emotionally appealing. For example let’s say you have a bakery. You can put a big picture of cakes, cookies, and fudge all across your billboard. Then you can say "What's Another Lap around the Track?" You have just shown your audience how great your food is, and how easy it is to say "yes." 


Be unique. Unless you have set rules and regulations you have to follow in your advertising, be creative. Do things differently. Your advertisements will stand out and be recognized, and your sales will skyrocket! 




Make your target market want to rush right out and get your product. Show them how greatly your product or service will benefit them. For example, if you sell diet products you can show pictures of people who used your diet pills and how great they now look because of these diet pills. Remember to make your ad believable. Don't use two different people to show the before and after results of your diet pills.  


In other words, your job is to make potential customers desire the image or benefits your products offer.  




Create a sense of urgency, and or deadlines. For example, "If you act now you’ll get ____ for free or at a discounted price." Use words like Hurry, Limited Time Only, and Call Now. 


Please don't follow a common mistake of others, don't forget to tell your potential customers how to get in touch with you. Put your address, phone number, web site address, e-mail address, or some kind of directional information on your sign. Of course you will not have room to put every type of contact information on your billboard, but try to put at least two different contact options. 


You've already made your target market want your product or service. You've told them how great it is and most importantly what it can do for them. Now proofread your advertisement. Then get someone else to review it. 


Once you have put your billboard up, test it. Ask people how they found out about your company. You can also give out free samples of your product to those consumers who will fill out your brief survey. 


Now that you know how to choose the correct wording for your advertisements, don't forget about the colors and design. 

(c) Copyright 2002  



Selena McIntyre has been a Creative Designer for BPS Outdoor Media since 1999. She has a Marketing Degree and several years of customer service experience. Selena has studied art most of her life and continues to do so now. She designs most of BPS’s billboards and has written several articles about the outdoor advertising industry. To see some of her work please visit http://www.bpsoutdoor.com/blog/


This article is provided as a courtesy from www.OutdoorBillboard.com 


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