Great Advertising Is Terrifying

Everybody loves daring and creative advertising, but no one seems to have the courage to do it themselves. We all talk about the cool ads we see on television, and billboards that grab our attention, but when it comes to our own advertising we settle for the same old blah, safe, advertising that makes us feel good, but does nothing for our brand our message. And then we complain that our advertising is not doing anything for us! Of course, what did we expect since we are putting nothing earth shattering into our advertising?

If you want to advertise like Apple; Take their 1984 Super Bowl ad, “1984 will not be like 1984” that ran exactly one time but is the most famous ad in the history of advertising, or their “Think Different” ad that brought the company back. You have to get over yourself and think about your audience. What does your audience want to see? What are they going to remember? What are they going to feel? And that’s it “what are they going to feel” and in the end you are trying to get people to feel good about the ad, about themselves, and about their decision to buy your product, and really become part of your tribe, or your cult if you will.

Here are some incredibly important things you need to think about when considering truly innovative and creative, as well as provocative advertising:

  1. Go your own way. Don’t make your advertising trendy. Trendy is trouble in the end. Don’t be like everyone else.
  2. Be painfully provocative. Make yourself uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter if you are uncomfortable because good advertising is meant to make you uncomfortable. It is supposed to move your potential customers. And that cannot be done with nice safe, and cozy, advertising.
  3. It’s all about the audience, the customers. When you are tempted to say something like, “I don’t like it,” or the team “doesn’t like it” remember that you do not buy your product. You are not the customer so who cares if you like it or not? Advertising is completely customer focused not focused on you and your team. It’s what will provoke the customer to buy your product that matters.
  4. Be courageous. Something I can guarantee is that not everyone is going to like your advertising, not everyone is going to like your message. If it’s good then, who cares? How many times do we send out five thousand flyers, or newsletters or ads and out of those five thousand we sent out three people comment that they didn’t really like it, so we change the campaign? How stupid is that? Especially when we get good comments and results from most of the other four thousand nine hundred and ninety seven people who saw the ad. Many people are negative. Looking for that one tiny flaw in everything because they think it makes them look smarter somehow…more discerning, Ugh!
  5. Be brave and bold with your advertising, get out there on that limb and try something that no one has ever tried before. Be so bold, that you kind of have butterflies in your stomach the day the ad comes out. And always remember, that the more you try, the more you are prone to fail. Creativity is failure endured until it becomes success.
  6. And finally, a couple of don’ts. It’s all about the message to the customer, not the product. Frankly a lot of us sell pretty boring products in and of themselves. It is what the product does for the customer that matters. Not what it looks like. If you are selling chemicals or coatings or in our case laminate, don’t put a photo of the product in the ad! Is a big giant yawn. Instead show what the product can do for the customer, the places it will take her, the capabilities it will give him. Show them their future with your product. That’s what’s important. And one more “don’t”, don’t ignore the professionals, the people who you hire to create your advertising. Many times, they know more about getting your message out than you do about your product. Learn to trust them and they will do good by you.

One shameless plug here before I go. Iconnect 007 has an entire team of very good, innovative and creative people. If you look around at some of the ads that sparkle in their publications you will see the results of some of their customers trusting them, Letting, them do their thing. The thing they are so good at. There are some of those in here. And then notice the ads that are not so provocative or dare we say, outstanding and I guarantee those are the ads that the companies produced themselves or at the very least dictated what they wanted to say and how they wanted to look….safe. I guarantee that if you let the team in this publication work with you on your messaging and trust them…in the end you will be producing great and provocative advertising. The kind of advertising that gets noticed and produces results.

It’s only common sense.

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