Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How Not To Advertise

An ad from Popular Mechanics.
This is not a game ad, but it serves to illustrate some important things NOT to do when creating an ad. First of all, this ad is in a marketplace section, so it's a small size. Which means that putting a package shot in the ad, especially when the package is rather complicated and difficult to read, is a mistake. You'd be better off putting in a picture of the trimmer itself.

Second, where's the call to action? Am I supposed to buy this? Head to the web site? Look for it at a retailer (which one?) Or am I supposed to scan the QR code... assuming I have a smartphone, and know what a QR code is... which seems like a bit of a stretch. If you're going to devote a substantial part of the ad to the QR code, you might want to improve the odds of its being used by  giving me some reason to try it.

Really, though, my main beef with this ad is the content. The headline should be something that grabs my attention and makes me want to buy the item... some key feature that's so compelling I have to know more, and I want to own one. Lithium ion? Is that important in a hair trimmer? I never really thought about it... maybe the body copy will explain why I want this thing.

Three times the run time! Wait... my corded trimmer runs as long there's power coming into my house... this must be referring to a cordless trimmer. Which I may not have. Or maybe my entire body needs to be shaved regularly and I just run out of power half way through the process, it's so annoying.

Ah, but this trimmer has twice the torque! Here we get to a really fun feature. Is your hair so thick a regular trimmer just can't get through it? Who has this problem -- Sasquatch? Seriously... is there some human who has hair that defeats electric trimmer blades?

The lesson here is know your target audience; know the audience likely to be seeing this ad; and then focus in on the key features that appeal to this audience. Maybe they thought Popular Mechanics readers like power tools, and just saying Lithium Ion will make them run right out and buy this. Hey, guys, this is not a power drill or a grass trimmer (though maybe it can do that with all the torque it has). I think you're better off talking about features that might matter to a cordless trimmer buyer... maybe effectiveness, or cost, or reliability, or why it's convenient to spend more and eliminate a cord.

Don't try to sell me on features that are meaningless to this item. You'll just leave me... torqued off.

No comments:

Post a Comment