Ingenious advertising techniques are communication tools that a company uses to draw attention, engage minds, trigger emotion and change popular perceptions.You can make stronger advertisements if you deploy techniques that will work best for your product or service, be it in the traditional, digital or social media.
Here are 6 advertising techniques that you can use to build strong brand recall.
1 – Demographic positioning
This is a technique used to “position” your product or service to appeal to your target audience has specific demographic characteristics like age, race, gender, marital status, level of education, income, sexual orientation, and other things. Demographic positioning can open up a huge niche market, like dating websites for people over 50, or holiday destinations for singles.
2 – Exaggeration
It’s a technique which is both effective and fun. Also, it’s easy to brainstorm and work with.
Take your concept and the primary idea you want to communicate. Now exaggerate it. Take it to the extreme, push it beyond reality and reason; in visual or in the copy, or both. Exaggerate a problem, or a benefit, or the physical appearance, or size.
Make sure that you exaggerate the exaggeration. Godzilla-sized exaggerations are interesting and also a powerful way of driving your concept. A minor exaggeration could be a misleading campaign.
Creative tip: Exaggerating the visual could be an interesting approach. But then understate the copy. Or do it the other way round. The technique will help you to simplify the message i.e. the main point you want to convey, in a single sentence or one visual. Let your imagination push things from there to an outrageous exaggeration.
3 – Advertising techniques
Advertising techniques are all about creating characters, or a cast of characters that add recognition and a story value to the campaign.
Your character could be some actor playing a role, like a footballer or a psychiatrist or the Prince of Persia. You can also go for an animated, illustrated, or a cartoon character. Or how about using a live cat or dog?
Creative tip: A “brand character” must represent the brand’s personality and other aspects, which an invented character won’t. It’s better to take a risk with a character which is, well out of character with the personality of your brand.
Many of the most memorable advertising campaigns in the world were built around invented characters. But most of the best characters don’t reflect the brand personality, appearance, or values.
Much like a good book or movie, a character must be interesting to grab customer attention. It must be unexpected, different, have enough personality, strong expressions, and quirky behavior. The out-of-the-ordinary and engaging character will attract attention because they break stereotypes and stand out of the crowd.
4 – Emotion
Emotional music, images, themes are great tools for triggering positive feelings that could be transferred to a brand, product or company.
Digital and broadcast media are the ideal channels to trigger emotion. Film, TV, and radio let you tell stories and also support the stories with characters and music.
Talking of music, it’s the most creative and potent tool. Music has the power to trigger an instant response among the audience, particularly if the same is well liked and familiar, and associated with strong feelings like anger or love.
There are certain types of imagery in print that reliably evokes emotion.
- Weddings: Consider a non-traditional setting.
- Families and relationships: The mother, who else?
- Kids: True for men as well.
Toxic creative warning: While using traditional imagery, avoid all clichés like “cheap stock photos, here.” If you can’t afford an interesting visual, enhance or crop the image to get a fresher look.
Every country and culture has historical events, celebrities, music, and visuals that trigger strong feelings, like a medal presentation in an international competition with the national anthem playing in the background, influential world figures like Gandhi or Mandela, historical struggles for racial equality and civil rights and similar things.
Creative tip: Music, like love, could be expensive. But that’s not a problem for Vodacom and Telkom. It could be challenging for the majority of the clients. It opens up interesting creative development opportunities.
You may, for instance, collaborate with local musicians. If you have talent, you can express that with a small investment in software or hardware. Sponsor a musical talent hunt and open up to all within the community or company.
5 – Promise specific benefits
The benefit is something that has value to your target audience. Ask yourself about the benefits of the product and service that you yourself can derive from the product.
A benefit advertisement’s persuasive energy comes from two traits. First, the importance of the benefit to the target customer, and two, the specificity of the benefit.
Here’s an example of a headline targeting housewives: “Introducing a washer so gentle it can actually help your clothes last longer.”
Abstract and ambiguous words like “unique” or “beautiful” or “professional” don’t mean much to the reader. Avoid them on all counts. Besides, some benefits will be more useful to some, depending upon the individual. Some people may demand a superlative service and ready to pay extra for that while others may like to save some money.
Remember, a benefit may not be exclusive for the client. For instance, car batteries offering a lifetime guarantee may not be the selling point of that product. Clients may say, it’s not really a benefit since many competitors are offering the same benefit. But that shouldn’t bother the customer if competitors are making no such claims. And even if customers are aware of it, the advertisement which is able to recall the benefit first is likely to trigger the sale.
Creative tip: Features are to be used sometimes instead of benefits. Features are the key characteristics of a product. “The computer has a 1 TB HDD.” The underlying benefit is that you can store huge amount of data, photos, and videos on your computer.
Benefits can also be inherent. If a vast majority of people know the benefit that can be derived from a 1 TB HDD, there’s no need for explaining the benefit. Simply mention the feature.
6 – Testimonials
Testimonials have persuasive energy.
Testimonials can come in many colors from celebrities to general customers. Here are some categories that have proved successful.
Real customers: These testimonials are usually found on Facebook or Amazon. They are often the most informative and the most persuasive. The best testimonials are honest, fair and very thoughtfully written. A few flaws are good. But something like “It’s the best, don’t miss it” is shallow.
Interesting customers: Select real users who have an amusing or interesting story to narrate. Maybe one of your customers has an unusual accomplishment or is in an interesting job that separates them from the rest, like the former mayor of your city, the 152nd person to scale Mount Everest, and similar individuals.
Real switchers: In this case, a person tries a product and judges it on the spot. Non-customers are converted to buyers in this way. The “blind taste test” is an execution. Another approach is featuring customers who explain why they shifted from one brand to the other.
Experts: The scientist, the doctor, or the blogger who writes about your product category. They can influence others with their expert knowledge.
Celebrities: international or local, celebrities can bring in instant recognition. Simply show a celebrity is endorsing your product. A written endorsement, however, always has an edge.