Published May 16, 2014

How to create a great advert – 4 key principles

In today’s world, attention spans are short. So short in fact that we’ve dropped our attention span from 12 minutes to five minutes, according to an article by Neil Vidyarthi on Social Times. And that article was written three years ago, meaning it’s likely your attention span has probably dropped even further since.

Heck, you’ve probably already stopped reading, haven’t you? Haven’t you?! (Please don’t, because there is some interesting stuff coming, promise.)

Obviously, the big culprit is social media and the rapidly evolving technological world that is making us ever more “connected”, or probably a better word is distracted.

So, to stand out from the crowd takes a colossal amount of creativity and marketing, especially when it’s print marketing. Thankfully, creative marketing is in abundance here at Jask and we’ll now discuss four key principles of creating an advert to give it the best chance of standing out and be able to grab attention.

  1. Message

    Whether you’re educating the audience on your products, showcasing a range of services, raising awareness of new products or offering discounts or sales, every advert needs to have a clearly defined message.

    Once you have your message, stick to it. Don’t overload your advert with too many points as that will convolute your message and give the audience too much information to take in.
  2. Focus

    Focus is a crucial element to whether your advert succeeds or fails. Once you have your message, you need to draw attention to your advertisement and make it memorable. Usually this means thought provoking imagery, but you can also use copy to good effect. A great example is Air Asia’s play on words seen here.
  3. Media Placement

    Once you have your advert’s content, it is important to understand that it needs to be placed in the correct media for maximum effect. There is little to no point in advertising business to business products in a shopping centre poster site as that is not where your trade is looking for your services, for example.

    Some advice? If you’re advertising in a publication, always look to place your advertisement on the right hand page as that is where your eyes are naturally drawn to first.

    Some further advice? Use some common sense, unlike those who placed this Turkish Airlines advert.
  4. Call to Action

    Every advert needs a call to action (CTA), a clear instruction that gets people to interact after seeing the advert. Whether it is a ‘click here for further information’, snap this QR code for a discount (love/hate on QR’s – that’s another story), visit this site for tickets etc., every advert needs it so your audience know what the next step is.

    From a graphic design point of view then, your CTA is very important in terms of it’s placement, size, colour, contrast and appearance. It needs to be placed in a logical way that stands out and gets your audience to interact with it.

    Hubspot’s Magdalena Georgieva (@mgieva) has compiled a list of effective CTAs that not only show them in action but also how and why they work. Have a read!

Of course, the rulebook to creating a good advert isn’t limited to what we’ve said here, and in fact is forever evolving with the changing ways we behave and are influenced. We like to think that these are the four cornerstones to a good advert and ones that should be followed to give you the best results.

Looking to design an advert or need more information? Just give us a shout. Or you can reach us through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.