Wasted breath and nonsense — How to avoid messed-up messages


Many companies that run radio and TV advertising waste their breath — and precious broadcast seconds — with stuff that just doesn’t make sense.

Total head scratchers! They’re running ads that are suffering from the “wait, what?” syndrome.

For instance, I heard an ad today for one of Oregon’s largest home builders. They sell cheap, low-quality tract housing at affordable prices. Definitely the low end of the subdivision developer world.

Whoever wrote the script went out of their way to specify the target audiences; first time home buyers and “senior citizens who just want something that’ll last.”

Wait, what??? That’s ridiculous.

We’re not talking about a quart of milk that’s going to spoil after a month in the fridge. Or even a cheap used car with a less-than-stellar repair record.

It’s a house!

Even poorly built houses will be around longer than any senior citizen. “Long lasting” is not a relevant, meaningful message for any segment of the home-buying market.

I’ve done a lot of advertising for developers over the years, and not once has a client said, “we need to advertise the long-lasting quality of of our homes.”

I’m not nit-picking, I’m trying to save you from uttering nonsense that no one will recall or understand. If you’re spending good money on ad space, don’t waste it with references that just leave people scratching their heads.

First, proof for clarity! (We could all benefit from a bit more of that.) Eliminate confusion. Delete all the industry insider mumbo-jumbo that’s messing up your advertising messages. Then make sure the execution of the ad is far better than anything your competitors would do.

Think of it this way… Effective advertising is a combination of two things: What to say, and how to say it.

The “what to say” part means you have to think things through before you write the spot. You need to articulate your strategy and your sales points very clearly.

If the strategy is to lure seniors who are looking to downsize into an affordable last house, then you better find a message that’s more relevant to them than “long lasting.”

The “how to say it” part is the job of the creative team. Once the message is clear they have to find a creative way to communicate it. Because if it’s not creative it won’t be memorable.

Clarity + memorability is the winning combination.

Seeking to build and grow your brand using the force of consumer insight, strategic foresight, creative disruption and technology prowess? Talk to us at +971 50 6254340 or engage@groupisd.com or visit www.groupisd.com/story

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