Powerful Words in Advertisements
By: Selena McIntyre
All great advertisements have powerful copy. These ads have special ways to convince us
that we need to buy their product. But how do these words actually make us buy? This article will show you
how to choose money-making words for your ads.
Always start with a plan. In order to do this, you must:
First decide who your target market is.
How do you want to reach them?
What do you want them to know about your product or service?
How is your product different / better than your competition?
Make a list of your products’ features. Then take each one of these features and pretend to
be your customer. Ask "What’s in it for me?" about each benefit you’ve listed. The answers to these questions
are your product or services benefits. Benefits are the key ingredient to selling your product. You are now
ready to design your ad.
The A-I-D-A (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) Method is very helpful when designing
Getting the attention of your target audience is the first thing your ads should do. People
see hundreds of ads every single day, but they only read a small portion of these ads. This is why getting
the consumers attention is the most important part of designing advertisements. If you don’t succeed in this
area, potential customers will pass over your ad and possibly your product!
Headlines are the best way to grab the attention of your target market. Use the benefits
you listed earlier to create a good headline. Use exciting words in your headlines, such as: Breakthrough,
Incredible, How to ___, Announcing, Revealing, Discover, FREE, Guaranteed, Powerful, Proven, Shocking, and
You may also ask a question that can be answered by using your product. When you start your
ad with a question, the reader will usually mentally answer the question, and keep reading your
Another good technique for headlines is to shock your readers. Make a statement that makes
readers take a second look at your ad. For example, if you are selling alarms, your headline could be "How to
Break into Homes with Alarm Systems." Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Would you read
Keep your headlines short, and be sure they make sense to your target market. In outdoor
advertising, the shorter ads are the most effective.
Colors also grab attention of passing motorists. Brighter colors, like yellow and red get
the most attention. Black and yellow, when combined, also receive great responses. Please click where
indicated to learn what colors appeal to which target markets, or to see examples of proven winning color
Graphics will also help your ad get stand out in a crowd. Be careful; make sure they are
big enough to be seen from passing motorists. Details are very hard to see on billboards so keep your
graphics simple. Please be sure to make the graphics relate to your product or service.
Once you have the attention of your target audience, you must try very hard to keep it. But
hurry, because you don't have a lot of time before the passing motorists either pass your sign, or lose
interest. Do not waste time and, or money trying to appeal to people who do not, will not, or can not use
In order to keep your potential customers attention and interest, you must make your
product or service exiting, and intriguing. Use your products benefits to do this.
You may also want to make your ads emotionally appealing. For example let’s say you have a
bakery. You can put a big picture of cakes, cookies, and fudge all across your billboard. Then you can say
"What's Another Lap around the Track?" You have just shown your audience how great your food is, and how easy
it is to say "yes."
Be unique. Unless you have set rules and regulations you have to follow in your
advertising, be creative. Do things differently. Your advertisements will stand out and be recognized, and
your sales will skyrocket!
Make your target market want to rush right out and get your product. Show them how greatly
your product or service will benefit them. For example, if you sell diet products you can show pictures of
people who used your diet pills and how great they now look because of these diet pills. Remember to make
your ad believable. Don't use two different people to show the before and after results of your diet
In other words, your job is to make potential customers desire the image or benefits your
Create a sense of urgency, and or deadlines. For example, "If you act now you’ll get ____
for free or at a discounted price." Use words like Hurry, Limited Time Only, and Call
Please don't follow a common mistake of others, don't forget to tell your potential
customers how to get in touch with you. Put your address, phone number, web site address, e-mail address, or
some kind of directional information on your sign. Of course you will not have room to put every type of
contact information on your billboard, but try to put at least two different contact
You've already made your target market want your product or service. You've told them how
great it is and most importantly what it can do for them. Now proofread your advertisement. Then get someone
else to review it.
Once you have put your billboard up, test it. Ask people how they found out about your
company. You can also give out free samples of your product to those consumers who will fill out your brief
Now that you know how to choose the correct wording for your advertisements, don't forget
about the colors and design.
(c) Copyright 2002
Selena McIntyre has been a Creative Designer for BPS Outdoor Media since
1999. She has a Marketing Degree and several years of customer service experience. Selena has studied art most of her life and continues to do so
now. She designs most of BPS’s billboards and has written several articles about the outdoor advertising
industry. To see some of her work please visit http://www.bpsoutdoor.com/blog/
This article is provided as a courtesy from www.OutdoorBillboard.com
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