I. Introduction of Advertisement:
We are surrounded by advertising—on television, radio, the internet, as well as on roadside hoardings and in printed media. Most of it is more sophisticate than we realize—almost every professionally produced advertisement is carefully constructed mixture of words, images, and symbols, chosen with the aid of experts in consumer psychology. Understanding how advertisements work will help you when you come to write your own.
Advertisements, whatever their medium or format, have two purposes:
- To inform us of the availability of a product or service, or to give details of an event
- To persuade us, usually to buy something, or to support a cause
II. Preparing For the Project
Begin by raising your awareness of the techniques advertisers use to gain your attention and to persuade you to act on their message. Gather a collection of advertising material and ask these questions about each example:
What first attracts your attention to the advertisement? Is it:
- a visual image?
- The use of color?
- The use of text?
- A familiar brand-name or logo?
Which of these elements will be most effective in your own advertisement?
Does the advertisement keep your interest by:
- Telling a story?
- Showing characters with whom you find it easy to identify, or who are role-models?
- Introducing a celebrity?
- Playing music?
- Using sound effects?
- Offering attractive photographs, or artwork?
- Using a slogan or catch-phrase?
- Showing large blocks of text?
- Focusing on the technical details of the product?
- Showing the product in use in an attractive setting?
- Making you laugh?
- Engaging your sympathy?
Which approach will be best for your product?
The advertisement’s Appeal
Is the advertisement appealing to:
- Your desire to express your individuality?
- Your desire to be part of a group?
- Your conscience?
Is it offering:
- A better lifestyle?
- A solution to your worries?
- A chance to indulge yourself and have fun?
- A chance to help people or protect the environment?
Which of these approaches is the one for your advertisement?
The advertisement’s Purpose
Is the advertisement:
- Simply informing you?
- Informing and persuading you?
- Establishing or reinforcing a brand-name?
- Asking you to do something?
What do you want your advertisement to do?
III. Writing Your Own
You will find this task much easier, and your results more satisfactory, if you have access to a computer with a desktop publishing program or a good word processor, A digital still camera, a sound card, a scanner, and graphics software will be needed if you choose to make a multimedia advertisement—and a video editing facility would let you make a television advertisement. Then you can:
- Begin by researching your product, and decide who is most likely to buy if
- Decide on the format you will use—print or multimedia
- Sketch your advertisement. Even if it is mostly text based, this will still help with layout. If you are making something more ambitious then you will a simple storyboard.
- Decide what visuals you will use, and where you will find them
- Write the text
- Put it all together
- Make the impact and get the attention
- Don’t be afraid to use well-worn, familiar images—people understand the messages they convey
- Use bright colours
- Treat the headline—the most important word or phrase—as a graphic, this will let you use it more creatively
Language, used effectively, can hold the interest and persuade. Be sure that your advertisement sues:
- Memorable slogans and catch-phrases
- Sentences beginning with active, commanding verbs
- Technical vocabulary and scientific terms
- Adjectives and adverbs—in quantity
- Double meanings
- The use of comparative forms that are unrelated to any reference point—“”washes wither”—whiter than what?
- Learn from poetry—use simile, metaphor, and language features such as alliteration, assonance, repetition, rhyme…and don’t feel that you have to write in full sentences
- Keep your sentences short and active, but vary their lengths
- Use a variety of sentence structures
- Use active verbs—say ”This mountain bike outpaces the competition ” rather than “is faster than any other”
- Use words such as: new; professional; quality; superb; engineered; home; family; easy
- Use an eyes-catching headline, in a bold typeface
- Stress the benefits that will follow a purchase—more times, less stress, greater security
- Remember that you want people to buy—make it easy for them to find you