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The Only Way To Ensure Effective Advertising

Every business at some time in its life decides “We need to advertise”. And almost every business does, but a very high percentage of what they pay for in media
29 Dec 2018 10:20
The Only Way To Ensure Effective Advertising

Every business at some time in its life decides “We need to advertise”.

And almost every business does, but a very high percentage of what they pay for in media placement is wasted, either totally or to some extent.

But it doesn’t have to be like that, and there are expert professionals in the world who have found a very sim­ple way to ensure that the most effec­tive advertising is created every time.

Almost every international adver­tising agency follows broadly the same methodology in starting the development of an advertising pro­gram.

They create what is called the “Copy Strategy.”

There are a number of internation­al agencies operating throughout the world and they all have basically the same document that they use to brief their creative people and prepare campaigns.

The copy strategy is not only used to get the creative people started but it is the benchmark by which any ad­vertising they propose is measured.

No matter how great the presenta­tion seems to be or how much the work is liked by the people who did it, unless it fulfils all the criteria spelt out in the strategy document it will not be accepted.

In my experience working in inter­national advertising agencies, there are times when the creative people try to defend something off strategy, but it never sees the light of day be­cause the agency’s reputation stands on the effectiveness of the program and experience has shown that a well-developed copy strategy is the only way to get effective advertising.

What is a copy strategy?

It is a document prepared by an agency that examines all the issues that need to be addressed to ensure the end result of the advertising, the reason the client wants to run adver­tising, are addressed.

The Client states the reason for the campaign or advertisement, but the copy strategy is a product of all the issues that need to be addressed to achieve the result.

Really, the document is just the re­sult of questions being thoughtfully and carefully addressed.

Some answers night draw on exist­ing research the client has commis­sioned, some might reflect client instructions or policy, some may be technical requirements, but all need to be included in the copy strategy to ensure the result achieves the objec­tive.

Some agencies might add extra or differently phrased questions but the following is a very generic method that will fit all needs.

The question

  • What is the objective of the adver­tising?

Try to be definitive here. The objec­tive should be quantifiable if possi­ble.

It may be to increase awareness of the brand, create understanding of the function offered, endorse quality or convenience of shift or reinforce the consumer attitude for the brand.

The more accurately the objective is defined, the more effective will be the response.

  • Who is the target audience and what media is to be used?

Again, be as concise as you can. List demographics and any specific loca­tions if that is pertinent.

Include gender, age groups and eth­nicity information.

With media, try to give some room for creativity but it does not work that you have a press budget and are given a TV execution

  • What do they think, do, act now?

Explain the consumer relationship to the brand or product, Talk about the physical but also provide any emotional or attitudinal information you may have from research, or even opinion, but make sure that opin­ion is identified as such, what your wife thinks may not be the universal norm.

If there is research that explains why they think what they think give that as well.

  • What are the details of the product, service?

Give all the necessary information but summarise it.

It is often a good idea to provide de­tailed information separately.

Be careful, because too much infor­mation may lead the creative off to a dead end.

If there is anything new highlight the point and explain why the change was made if it is relevant to the objec­tive.

If there are any supporting docu­ments they should be noted and the full details attached separately

  • What are the competitive products or services in the market?

Here it is good to be accurate about the opposition.

If there is any data that is relevant to the impact other competitors may have on the image or standing of the brand make sure that this is included as comment but make the detailed data available.

If there are any other issues that could affect the advertising (such as a different method of purchase or a different distribution system) ensure that this is explained.

Try to give both the attitudinal and emotional attachments to opposition brands.

Explain any advantages the opposi­tion has, such as better or wider dis­tribution, a possible pricing advan­tage of better merchandising.

Note if there have been any recent significant changes in a competitor or in the general level of competition and explain if the brand is doing any­thing to answer the change.

  • Mandatories that must be included in the advertising?

Her make sure that the things that must be included are identified.

Don’t take it as given that the crea­tive people will know (or remember). Provide examples of the logotype, discuss the use of colour, note if a special type face is to be used, com­ment on any restrictions in showing the product.

Is there any special music or jingle to be used.

Avoid making this a restrictive covenant and you can always cor­rect minor issues later, but any real restrictions need to be listed to avoid wasting time and money.

  • What do we want the consumer to think or do?

Of course, this question can also be placed directly after the “think now” and either placement is optional, but obviously this is important because it is the reason you are creating new advertising so I usually place it at the end.

It is also sometimes argued that this is a double up on the advertising ob­jective statement.

Of course they are similar, however the objective is a broader statement about the brand, product or service in the total market place and this question is referenced directly to the advertising to be created.

You can add or modify the Strategy Statement as you feel, but this is the basics that will ensure the adver­tising has the best chance to effec­tively perform the task you have set. Keep the document short.

Proctor and Gamble insist on one A4 page and the other major interna­tional marketers have similar restric­tions.

Their aim is to think it through and be complete. You can always add feel­ing at the verbal brief.

And always measure the response against the document.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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