Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fred's Advertising Clinic Part 6: Putting it all together

Fred's Advertising Clinic Part 6: Putting It All Together

Now that we have an understanding of the basic formula for creating an ad, in this installment we'll put it all together and create an ad for -- you guessed it -- Dry Erase Markers.

For this ad, we'll take a slice-of-life approach. I like these sorts of ads because they're interesting, take a light approach, and they can be used to educate consumers about the product's benefits without being preachy. Remember, though, that you can use any approach that is appropriate to your product.

Step one: Get Attention

We'll use some sound effects to grab the listeners and add interest. We'll also set up a scene to which they can relate.

Step two: Build Interest

Our scene is a friendly one in which two coworkers - they obviously get along well and are supportive of each other - are talking about the big presentation. One of them is just a little nervous, because it's the most important presentation she's ever given.

Step three: Build Desire

Desire for Dry Erase Markers is built in two ways. First it demonstrates how the markers helped rescue one of the coworker's previous presentations. There's also a subtle endorsement of the markers by that character. This endorsement builds desire for the markers in both his coworker and the listening audience. It's a double hook.

Step four: Action

So that the scene between the colleagues maintains credibility, we bring in an anonymous announcer to make the action pitch. It has two parts: "Save your next presentation with Dry Erase Markers" (which is code for "save your job" and drives home a very important benefit of using them), and the announcer gets us to act with the phrase, "get them at your nearby office supply store."

Here's the script:

Sound Effects: Office sounds, typwriters, telephones, etc.

Coworker: Hey Sally, you ready for the big presentation this afternoon?

Sally: Yeahhhh...but I'm a little nervous about it.

Coworker: What are you nervous about?

Sally: It's the biggest presentation of the year! What if I blow it by making a mistake? I don't want this to be like last year!

Coworker (chuckles): Oh yeah.. I remember that! You misspelled the Client's name!

Sally: How embarassing!

Coworker: Look, all you have to do is use Dry Erase Markers. Then if you make a mistake, you can just wipe it off and fix it. Nobody will even notice! Especially if you have a funny line ready too...

Sally: Dry Erase Markers, huh? I never thought of that!

Coworker: Dry Erase Markers have saved my job dozens of times, Sally!

Sally: Alright! Dry Erase Markers it is! Now all I need is a funny joke...

Coworker: How about the one with the elephant who walks into the engineer's office... (fade out)

Announcer: Save your next business presentation with Dry Erase Markers. Make a mistake? Wipe it off! ...with Dry Erase Markers! Get them at your nearby office supply store.

And there you have an effective spot for either radio or TV that can even be adapted to a print ad.

Want free advertising or production advice?
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BullShots! is written by Fred Pagano, and is published by Brown Cow Studios of Boston.

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