Elements of Good and Bad Advertising

Elements of Good and Bad AdvertisingLearning the basic elements of effective versus ineffective advertising techniques saves money and increases your return on investment for your marketing campaigns. Let’s look at some do’s and don’ts to tune up your advertising for maximum results.


Hook the Prospect


Use compelling, attention getting headlines to grab your potential customer’s attention. If you are having a hard time getting inspired, check the Internet or the magazines and newspapers in your local area for ideas.


Be clever, be thought provoking but be careful. There is a fine line between being innovative and being inappropriate, especially when you are dealing with controversial subjects. Read your headline aloud and do not be afraid to play on words or use alliteration.


Be concise, use single syllable words and focus on action verbs. Use terms and phrases that connect with your target audience and avoid using industry jargon, acronyms or technical terms. After all, you may know that http stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, but will your customers know that?


Establish Credibility


Use Banner Stands to engage consumersPosition your product or service as a trustworthy brand. One way to do this is by standardizing your advertising and printed promotional materials. For instance, use the same corporate colors and logos on your business cards and stationary as you do on your indoor and outdoor signage and other display advertising products such as table covers or tradeshow booth displays.


Show, Don’t Say


A picture is purported to be worth a thousand words;  however, a picture of your products stacked up neatly on a counter is not as effective as a picture of an individual using and enjoying your product or service. Banners and posters are a highly visual way of using graphics to show off the benefits of your products and services.




Best Digital Banners Metropolitan GraphicsAll prospects what to know “what’s in it for them.” How will they benefit from parting with their hard-earned money to make a purchase from you? In addition to clearly stating the benefits of your wares, be sure to tell potential buyers how to find you and how to purchase from you.


Call to Action


Every effective ad needs a call to action that implies a sense of urgency. Give your prospects specific deadlines for making a buying decision, or offer an incentive to spur them into action.


We’ve covered the major elements of good advertising, so now let’s talk about how to avoid the most common mistakes of bad advertising.


Bait and Switch


Don’t promise prospects one thing and deliver something else. Be truthful in all your marketing claims and guarantees. Remember, it is always better to undersell and over deliver.


Inappropriate or Controversial Content


Poster and sign printing Metropolitan GraphicsWhy take a chance on running any ad campaign that might offend individuals based on their race, gender, culture or religion? Humor can be very subjective, so it is always best to err on the side of caution when designing ad copy or planning ad campaigns.




Advertisements hawking free gifts that are only available to the first 100 or so respondents or claiming to be in limited supply can be downright annoying to prospects. Keep your advertising copy original, only promise what you know you can deliver, and stand behind your brand. When you focus on making your advertisements as effective as possible, you’ll be on the right track to earn a high return on your dollar investment.


At Metropolitan Display we are committed to offering the best product displays you need to make retail or trade show spaces shine. We also invite you to visit our sister company, Metropolitan Graphics where you find banners, decals and indoor and outdoor digitally-printed advertising and marketing products that will get noticed and help you sell more.


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Image Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Stuart Miles


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