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Breaking Down an Ad

I’ve ripped apart a couple ads previously here and here.  Time to do it again.

Today I will be recording the following ad…

She is a writer.  Journals.  Poetry.  Stories.
She is a writer.  Loves to put the pencil to paper.
She is a writer.  Birthday coming up.
She is a writer.  She lives in Belgium.
She is a writer.  Her book is now published.
She is a writer.  Happy 10th birthday!
She is a writer.  Got started with a gift from Toy House
Toy House in downtown Jackson.  We’re here to make you smile.

My five points for writing an ad are:

  1. Make only one point
  2. Speak to the heart
  3. Speak more of customer than you do yourself
  4. Back up all your claims
  5. Tell a story

Make Only One Point
She is a young writer who got a gift from Toy House to launch her writing career.  Did you get that point?  Good.

Speak to the Heart/Tell a Story
The whole ad is a complete story.  A writer.  A birthday coming up.  Lives out of country.  Published.  Wait, she’s only 10?

The fact she has a birthday coming up gets your attention and makes you want to listen more.  Birthdays are powerfully nostalgic.  The part about Belgium (true story) adds to the interest and intrigue.  Then the clincher – she is only 10 years old.  Melts your heart, doesn’t it?  It did mine the first time I heard this story from the grandmother.

Speak More of Customer Than Yourself
Spoke of her or you ten times, me only three.  (See if you can spot what I am counting.)

Back up Your Claims
The closest to a claim I make is that she got a gift from Toy House that launched her writing career.  This really is not a claim. I am not promising anything, just sharing what happened.  If I were to say, “If you buy this product, you will become a writer,” then I need to back that up with evidence.  In this case I am just giving you the details of the story.  Notice that I do not mention the product either.  Mentioning the product shifts this ad from a story to a sales pitch.  Leaving it out makes people feel more emotionally connected, which is the real goal of the ad.  They will come in and ask about the product if writing is their dream.

The best thing about this ad?  It doesn’t sound like any other ad on the radio.  People will listen to this ad, even as they tune out everything else they hear on the radio.  Isn’t that the first most important part of advertising?  To get them to pay attention?

Of course it is.

-Phil Wrzesinski

PS  Nostalgia is one of the points of my Character Diamond.  Do you have a Character Diamond that drives all of your business decisions?  Would you like one?

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