How to spruce up your advertising

Advertisements are ubiquitous on radio and television, but not all that we see or hear achieves the desired impact. Some actually turn out to be an irritant rather than attracting potential customers to the product.

Your advertising campaign ought to create the need for the consumer to buy the product. Remember, it is mainly through adverts that individuals are able to connect with your brand.

Here are a few tips to successfully advertise your brand.

Be catchy and creative

A creative and exciting advert oozing nothing but life blows consumers away.

Marketers need to understand consumers buying behaviour while designing ads for the desired impact.

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Adverts play an essential role in stamping the image of a product in the minds of consumers. They must be catchy and communicate relevant information in the most disruptive way.

Understanding the needs of the consumer is important when it comes to creating the right advertisement for the right audience.

Identify your target audience

Advertisement must in some way touch the hearts of users for them to buy the product, and it is essential to relate it to what consumers like.

Meet your target audience and find out what they expect from your product and brand as a whole. Do not show anything which might offend any religious group or community.

In addition, advertisements for insurance plans, medical benefits, hospitals and such ought to be sensible as they convey serious information and target a mature segment altogether.

Make sure the message is relevant and crisp

Overload of information nullifies the effect and the advertisement might go unnoticed.

Don’t try to confuse consumers, they will never buy your product. Also, understand consumer’s psychology well. It is essential to understand the mindsets, attitudes and preferences of the target audience.

Show what the product is about

It should give some kind of information about its price, benefits, usage, availability and so on. Consumers perceive, say, an energy drink designed for women as just that - for women. An advert with a male model would not make sense as the target audience would not connect with the product.

A lean and active woman consuming the drink and thereafter beaming with energy and confidence would be the ideal concept.

Enhance status symbols

Through advertisement, marketers try to win over the confidence of consumers who would not mind spending on their product.

A Tag Heuer, Omega, Mercedes or iPhone advert ought to be classy for people to recognise these products as status symbols. Use expensive props, unique concepts and well-known faces for all premium and exclusive brands.

Adverts meant for young people (college students, young professionals) ought to be colourful and trendy for them to be able to relate themselves with the product. Serious advertisements do not go down well with youngsters.

Choose appropriate time slot and scheduling

Adverts for products meant for children should ideally be aired during afternoon or early evening hours as this is the time when they watch television the most.

Prime time commercials are king for they receive the most attention.

But remember to abide by the law and relevant regulations, such as on tobacco and alcohol adverts.

On scheduling, it is important to position your campaign for maximum visibility and impact. To determine the most appropriate scheduling method, consider the following factors:

1. Seasonality

In most cases, companies don’t advertise their product in off-season, such as air conditioners during the cold season or woolen fabric in hot weather. Similarly, some products sell faster around specific holidays such as flowers on Valentine’s Day. A flight scheduling pattern is most likely to be chosen by companies with seasonal products so that they can advertise at strategic time of sale.  

Everyday goods, on the other hand, are better advertised by continuity scheduling. These include products such as milk, bread and toothpaste.

Media planners can use sales report to find out if their brand has any kind of seasonal variations. They can then allocate allocate more money to high sales months and less to those with low sales.

2. Product purchase cycle

This is the gap between two purchases. Fast-moving consumer goods such as cookies, soft drinks and shampoos require continuous advertising in a competitive market to increase brand awareness and influence buying decisions.

Less-frequently purchased products such dishwashers may only need advertising a few times a year.

Your plan may, however, encounter a micro-scheduling problem. This occurs while allocating expenditure when a firm tries to get maximum impact within a short period.

For example, suppose a company decides to buy 30 radio spots in the month of August. Advertising messages for the month can be concentrated between the 15th to the 20th day of the month, or dispersed continuously  or intermittently during the month.

- The writer is a student of Journalism and Mass Communication at Multimedia University of Kenya

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