With new ideas and creatives coming into the industry all the time, advertising is constantly changing and evolving, It seems like the skys the limit, which in a sense it is (if you have the budget but that’s a topic for another time). However even with a deep well of ideas at an agency’s disposal there are still things you should never do it advertising.
Sticks and stones
Let’s start with a pretty obvious one. Don’t be insulting, don’t get me wrong I like a bit of cheeky humor in an ad but there’s a big difference between humor and insults. Whether that’s insulting your competitors, their customers, your customers or just any group of people. At the end of the day ads are trying to sell to you, maybe not directly but that’s the end goal so insulting or irritating your audience doesn’t seem like the best plan.
Buy! Buy! Buy!
Don’t try a hard sell in your ads, now this one does not apply for every ad but let me explain. Everyone knows the buyer’s journey from finding out about your company all the way through to them buying your product or service, ads are usually telling people about your brand or having them recall it, starting to lead them along the journey to becoming a customer. But if you have a hard sell in your ad, and viewer’s never heard of you, it’s like you’re throwing them straight in the deep end instead of taking them on this journey. Also people just don’t really like getting sold too.
Ramblers, let’s get rambling
Tying in with my last point, don’t spend the entire video or print talking about the specifics of your products or services. Although this may seem strange, and I’ve had companies ask me why this is when they’ve wanted to go into the details of their product. Doing it is fine… in a product film, but for advertising it’s best to avoid. This is because you have no idea if the viewer is interested, the idea of advertising is to make them interested then let them get the details for themselves.
Now one of the most important… not having a plan or strategy in place. Advertising’s usually not cheap and producing a great piece of content is a big step, but if no one sees this awesome content then there’s a problem. You’ve got to figure out who you want to see it and where you can have them see it. Whether that’s on LinkedIn, Youtube, Facebook or even OOH and TV. The great thing about advertising strategy today is with most mediums you can test something before you go through with it fully. This allows you to see if a strategy is worth investing in allowing you get the most return on investment possible.
Lastly, don't lie, once consumers lose trust in your brand winning that trust back is a long long road. Not to mention an expensive one. For instance we’ve all heard of shoes that can help you lose calories and tech that said it was half the price and double the speed of the competitor. Not only would this be very bad for your brand’s image but will also land you a big fine for false advertising. It all seems a lot more hassle than it’s worth.
While I’ve mentioned the things you shouldn’t do in advertising, I haven’t touched on the things that you should do. Like be brave, creative, funny or serious and most importantly…tell a story. People remember stories, what made them laugh, what made them cry, what made them smile, and if someone remembers an ad long after it was made, isn’t that the point?