How Do I Develop a Creative Advertising Strategy?

Sheri Cyprus

Developing a creative advertising strategy that's likely to be successful means starting with information and research. Having a clear idea of both the target audience for a product or service and the competitors' offerings can help you in deciding how the ad copy should be focused. You'll also have to consider the budget for the copywriting and graphics as well as the publishing or broadcasting of the ad. The results you expect from your creative advertising strategy can guide you in its development.

Alliteration may be used to create a tagline for a product.
Alliteration may be used to create a tagline for a product.

For example, if you hope to create brand awareness, using an attention-getting strategy can be best. In a magazine, newspaper or television ad, this may be done by featuring lots of visuals to compel the viewer to pay attention. Then, the product can be clearly shown along with its name and compelling tagline with some text to further convince potential customers to consider this brand. Be wary of creating attention without brand recognition though. If potential buyers remember that your ad was funny or wacky, yet the name of your product or service doesn't stick in their minds, your strategy wasn't effective.

Newspaper ads require a lot of colorful visuals in order to get people's attention.
Newspaper ads require a lot of colorful visuals in order to get people's attention.

If instead you hope to sell a product immediately with direct response advertising, you will need a persuasive creative strategy that prompts the target audience to "order now!" To do this effectively, offering a free bonus product typically works well. Compelling headlines are also crucial such as "Do You Want to Lose Weight Fast?" for a weight loss supplement.

While creating an ad that presents the product or service as more appealing than its competition, either for its value, performance or both, mentioning the competing product's name is typically not a good strategy. When this is done, the risk in terms of creative advertising strategy is that the reader or viewer will remember the competitor's name or product and not yours. Instead, mentioning why your product is a better buy than any competitors' offerings can sway your target market to what you offer.

If a television commercial isn't in your budget, you may want to try an advertorial in a newspaper or magazine. This type of piece often takes a whole page in a publication and as it's written as an informative article, it can interest readers even though in many parts of the world the word "advertisement" must appear at the top of the ad so as not to mislead readers. A good creative advertising strategy when developing an advertorial is to be sure to know the demographics of the publication's readership so you can better connect the ad copy to the target audience. Advertorial strategies typically involve a catchy headline and subheads followed by strong, compelling body copy and an order form that convinces the reader to fill it out immediately.

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