I was reading our free newspaper this evening. It is the first one we have received in weeks so it made a nice change.
It made dismal reading though. Not because of the lack of substantial local news – we expect that. It was because of the adverts within it. There must be a couple of hunderd adverts in there and every single one of them was the worst kind of ineffective advert that I keep trying to get people to dump. You know the sort – the painter who is looking for work (but no outsides) – the plumber who can fix your dripping taps – the tyre firm who have tyres and exhausts for sale – and so on.
They all look tired, dull and worst of all – they look the same.
The plumber, the kitchen fitter, the tyre company, the painter, the double glazing firm, the builder, the costume hire shop – unless you read them closely – they all look the same.
OK they are different colours and different sizes, but not a single one of them stands out from the bunch. Not one has a strong call to action. Not one has a Unique headline shouting out why you would be mad not to choose this painter, or that builder. Not one will perform any more than mildly average.
It is such a shame that so many businesses are still throwing money at advertising that will not work anything like as effectively as it could for the same investment.
Are you still doing advertising that way?
If you are, because you are worried about changing it in case the trickle of new customers drys up, at least try just one advert in the way I described in my previous series of posts on writing effective adverts. If you have the nerve to try just one new style ad – watch the difference in response you get. You will see how much better the info-ad works and then you will have the confidence to dump the old ways forever.
The worst offenders at selling the “old style” ads are the telephone directory staff. However, it is proven by every person who has ever had a telephone book ad that these just don’t pull enough response to justify the costs. Have a look through your telephone directory right now – it is packed with similar style ads. The challenge is to find a single info type ad in the whole book.
Go and have a look now – and let us all know how many you find!!