Posting Dates:

June 2010
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Are you a camouflage advertiser? Tip #13 …and then some

Camouflage advertising is the art of causing your ad to blend in with all of the other messages in the market so that it can’t be seen.  I’ve got to pass out some kudos here because so many of you do a really wonderful job of never being seen or heard of even though you buy advertising for the opposite reason.  Thankfully, all of you provide the platform for some marketers to actually stand up, stand out and get noticed. The real tip is not to become a Camouflage Advertiser and here are some thoughts that should point you in a better direction. 

Tip #13 is a lucky tip because you actually get 8 tips all wrapped up together under the anti-camouflage advertising topic:

13.   Do you turn heads?  Are you using an attention grabbing headline?  One of my favorites was “Show them you love them this Valentines – with my Sausage”.  A wildly attention getting headline for a local butcher.  Get creative with your headline and find a way to deliver your message in a few words that will get read and will stand out – hopefully leading the viewer to stop and want to find out more.  A great headline can lead to a memorable advertisement which is a good step in creating an effective advertisement.

14.   A picture says a thousand words.  Does any image within your ad help to support the headline?  In the above mentioned butcher ad, the image was of a man standing on top of a large rock, looking off in to the sky like he owned the world, while holding several long links of sausage draping down towards the ground.  This image was something that was very unique and not something you’d see every day.  The image supported the headline and grabbed attention.  Together, the image and the headline had impact – it didn’t really require much else other than the butchers name and address.  I’ve shopped there for sausage ever since.

15.   Did you stand out but look like a fool?  Some advertisers dress up in superhero outfits or rant like crazy people trying to grab attention – but beware of your brand and protect it from grabbing you the wrong attention.  I won’t ever walk in to some businesses because of the advertising image that they have projected.  I cannot believe that the brand I’ve seen could be trusted to deliver quality, honesty, dependability, longevity or style.  Protect your brand.  You want to grab attention but you want the positive impressions you build to outweigh and outlast any negative impressions.

16.   Did you really stand out?  Take a trial run.  If placing a newspaper or telephone directory advertisement, print your ad, cut it out and place in where your ad might show up.  Did it stand out?  Would you have noticed it at all?  What do you need to change? If your ad is online, just tape it in position on your monitor – you need to see how it looks.  BTW, if it is online – good for you – the best part of online advertising is that you can change it at a moment’s notice and adjust until you are happy with performance.  At hundreds or thousands of dollars a day for print advertising or a whole year in between ads for directory advertising, you gave yourself a real advantage in using online advertising.

17.   Pretend for a second to be a Graphic Designer.  Does the layout, structure and design of your ad make it easy to read?  I put every ad up on a wall and I look at them from a distance.  It often helps to see things from a distance to decide whether fonts or colours should be adjusted, whether the layout should be changed or whether the focus in being placed on the right components clearly within the ad.  Stand back from the advertisement and feel it first, see it second and read it last – did it work well?  If not, how should it be adjusted?

18.   White space says so much.  Cramming everything in to your ad doesn’t give you the most for you money – it just limits the number of times anyone might notice your ad and bother to read it.  White space where nothing is going on in your ad is  like creating a beautiful border to perfectly frame your work of art.  White space helps to bring focus to a message, highlighting what you feel is most important.  Focus in on your message and surround it with some white space.  Grab attention with your advertising and save the kitchen sink for your website – it is the perfect place to organize everything you want to say about your business.

19.   Do you part your hair on the left or wear a mohawk?  Being different in advertising is the rule to capturing attention. Luckily many people are happy to be the same as everyone else – don’t you be one of them or you could easily be on the road to join so many others with failed businesses.  You don’t have to be crazy or offensive with your ads but be creative and find a way to convey your message so that people take notice.  If it ain’t read – it’s dead!

20.   The eyes have no brains.  Rarely do we go looking to read advertisements, instead the ads grab our attention for a split second as we go about reading the news, visiting a website or entertaining ourselves.  In order for the brain to kick in and see what the eyes saw, we need to see the advertising over and over again.  Don’t cheap out on the frequency of delivering your message.  Many companies hear from lots of people that they’ve seen and heard about them all over town but I’ve never heard thousands say that they‘ve heard of some company once.  Force the brains to see your message.

Don’t be a camouflage advertiser.          [email protected]          250-412-3500

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