Does your message really work?

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I'm not sure where I saw it (just recently), but it's a neat little exercise that you're going to want to try. It's one of those "Real Eye Openers"

Pick any magazine.

Then have someone read just the advertisements out loud.

Then, and this is the important part, see if you can tell what the ad is for.

Who's the audience?
What's the message?
What do they want you to do?

It'll only take one magazine (of choice) to see just how important answering those three questions really is to your advertising. You could probably do the same with TV, but I don't watch it much so couldn't say.

And if I saw this little exercise here on WF then sorry for sharing your secret, but damn that was cool!
#message #work
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  • Profile picture of the author Ghost Shinobi
    Nice post! - It's actually an exercise I practice and teach and provides you with a lot of gain in terms of "true knowledge" - ultra valuable thing called first hand experience!

    As a second exercise: apply a similar technique to watching advertisements on your TV.

    1) Watch the adverts WITHOUT the sound on. Mute the volume and watch the adverts, see what you can gather from JUST THE IMAGES.

    2) Watch the adverts WITH the sound but NO PICTURE and see what you can learn from the audio techniques in the advert.
    (Notice changes in TONE and PITCH - notice the CATCHY JINGLE)

    IMHO: This method of learning (studying the "best") is one of the most effective ways of quickly learning and mastering any subject. Essentially you reverse engineer what the "best of them" are doing.

    Considering we are talking advertisement, prime time TV advertising space is VERY expensive, so you can sure that only the best agencies are producing the content that's being shown there.

    Reverse engineer them and you will notice things like the catchy jingle, the changes in tone and pace, the subtle shift from "you" to "us/we". Notice the linking/anchoring techniques. Notice. Learn. Practice. Master.

    Nice post OP, let's keep this thread going: join the convo warriors!

    Peace,
    Ghost Shinobi
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    • Profile picture of the author Fred_Acker
      Essentially you reverse engineer what the "best of them" are doing.
      Didn't look at it that way, but absolutely.

      I know reading your writing out loud works to find flaws, hang-ups and such, but never considered having someone read it to me.

      Wish I could find the source where I'd first seen it. But it was a subconscious thing that just stuck.
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    • Profile picture of the author SARubin
      Originally Posted by Fred_Acker View Post

      Then, and this is the important part, see if you can tell what the ad is for.

      Who's the audience?
      What's the message?
      What do they want you to do?
      I remember this exercise (from a few years ago). And it's still true, that with around 95% (or more) of the ads, they don't answer the questions very well at all.

      In fact, without the pictures, it's often hard to tell what many of the ads are even advertising.


      Originally Posted by Ghost Shinobi View Post


      Considering we are talking advertisement, prime time TV advertising space is VERY expensive, so you can sure that only the best agencies are producing the content that's being shown there.
      If only that were true... but alas, it's not.

      I've worked with a couple ad agencies over the years (on a temporary / contract basis) and I can assure you, they did NOT always have the best and brightest minds in the industry.

      Sure, for the most part everyone knew about the 4 P's... The 4 C's... SWOT analysis... etc. But many of them were more concerned about just keeping their jobs. And they barely had ANY understanding of consumer psychology, and/or buying motivations.

      Some of the (geniuses?) actually believed that focus groups could provide true insight into the consumer mind. (because focus groups is the way it's always been done, right?)

      As if asking a group of people, specific questions (in a controlled environment) would yield responses that truly indicated how these people feel in their day-to-day lives.

      When in reality, in that environment most people will give controlled answers they "think" you want to hear (or answers that they think make themselves sound informed and intelligent)



      Here's a test for you... Watch those advertisements. Then see which ones are still playing 60...90...120 days later. Those are the one's that might be worth studying.

      Even though most of them (nearly all of them) are not direct response (no real tracking metrics) at least most advertisers will be watching for increased market share. If sales don't increase, they end those ads and try something else.


      Even many of the $30,000,000 SuperBowl commercials, are all but forgotten a few months later. That's because while they get praise from critics, and win AMA awards... they didn't increase sales.


      So if the criteria for a good advertisement is how cute, clever, or controversial it is; Then yeah, many of those ad agencies are brilliant.

      But, if the criteria is how much ROI the ads bring back; Then many of them are not so brilliant. Which is probably one of the main reasons many big businesses (the one's with deep pockets) bounce from ad agency, to ad agency, at the end of each fiscal year.

      .
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  • This work for evry magazine?

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    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff together.

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  • Profile picture of the author Fred_Acker
    I'm not sure what that picture is. Or what to say about it. Should I be offended? If not I do apologize.
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by Fred_Acker View Post

    I'm not sure where I saw it (just recently), but it's a neat little exercise that you're going to want to try. It's one of those "Real Eye Openers"

    Pick any magazine.

    Then have someone read just the advertisements out loud.

    Then, and this is the important part, see if you can tell what the ad is for.

    Who's the audience?
    What's the message?
    What do they want you to do?

    It'll only take one magazine (of choice) to see just how important answering those three questions really is to your advertising. You could probably do the same with TV, but I don't watch it much so couldn't say.

    And if I saw this little exercise here on WF then sorry for sharing your secret, but damn that was cool!
    Best eye opener any noob could get: Write a promotion, ask for money.

    If they give you money, you've learned something. If they don't, then analyze.

    Why do I need to read anything outloud to know how important my audience, message, and offer is?

    It is like telling a beginning basketball player to watch ESPN and then reverse engineer what LeBron does, vs.

    Get on the court, dribble, pass, shoot. REPEAT. And defend your man.

    GordonJ
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  • Profile picture of the author Fred_Acker
    Why do I need to read anything outloud to know how important my audience, message, and offer is?
    You don't. I thought it was a cool exercise and shared it. Since when is this an issue on WF?

    Of course you need to 'get on the court' - is there anywhere in this conversation (except where you posted it) that says otherwise?

    It's quite possible that you are an A+ copywriter. I'm not. And I assume there are a few others on WF that don't have those skills yet either. Maybe they'll appreciate it. Know I did when I saw it.
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  • Profile picture of the author just Zer0
    What we know is but a drop in an ocean IMO.

    I like the exercises that have been mentioned - they are a way of testing - you need to forever be in a cycle or many cycles of testing and tweaking, this is how you improve.

    Blessie.
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    Zer0: Creative Geniu$.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zack Zeller
    Love this!

    Sometimes I do this with friends when watching commercials... I always guess the most obscure commercials are for cars for some reason. Curious.

    Keep Killing It
    -ZZ
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