Advertising: It’s not rocket science. 10 Advertising mistakes and how to avoid them. Part 3.


So here it is, the final instalment, 8 – 10.

  1. Wanting the ad to sound or look like an ad.

Advertising clichés can be the death knell of any advertising campaign, yet many businesses, and worryingly many copywriters, insist on including them in their commercials. Why? It’s because it’s what they’re familiar with. People see and hear them all the time and assume they they still work. To be blunt, they don’t. They become wallpaper for the ears and eyes and cause most people to tune out and ignore the messages.

Advertising Guru Roy H Williams talks about the Broca area of the brain, which filters out boring, repetitive and irrelevant information. Meaning that tired old clichés don’t even make it to the conscious part of your brain. However an engaging fresh and relevant story will. The mind likes to be delighted and entertained. We like to hear a story.

So avoid clichés and make your advertising interesting and as relevant as possible, you’re more likely to have people buy from you.

  1. Not measuring the results properly.

Yes, it’s important to measure advertising, as it’ll give you a rough guide as to what is working and what’s not.

Here are some effective ways you can measure to see if your advertising is                           working:

  • Do a door count
  • Progressively check sales figures
  • Compare years
  • Website traffic
  • Ask customers how they heard about you. This may not be completely accurate. We’ve actually had a client tell us that a customer of theirs said that they had see them on TV. The client only advertised on radio. True story.

Often clients request a ‘mention you heard this ad to get a discount’ message at the end of their radio or TV commercial. However the anecdotal data shows that this strategy doesn’t work for a variety of reasons.

  1. People are too embarrassed to ask for the discount without being prompted by someone in store. They feel it’s tantamount to begging. You should never ask you customers to do that.
  2. The discount being is offered is too small and not worth the effort of asking.

If you’ve given your advertising some time, and the data you’ve collected shows that your advertising is not working, then you’ll need to go back to the drawing board and evaluate what’s gone wrong. But remember; don’t stop advertising just because a particular campaign didn’t work, or you will be forgotten.

  1. Not trusting yourself.

Advertising is not some short-term project that you stop after a couple of weeks. It’s a long-term investment in the growth and success of your business.

However, like all good things, it takes time to build momentum and this is where most business owners become unstuck. They get scared and pull their advertising too early, before it’s had a chance to be effective.

We use the passenger plane analogy. A plane is designed to fly and get you safely from    A to B. Advertising is designed to do the same thing.


So, you’re the pilot of an airplane (that’s your advertising) and you’re thundering down the runway. It’s bumpy, it’s noisy, it’s scary and you haven’t even left the ground yet. What do you do? Do you trust that the plane will fly? Or do you panic and abort the take-off, possibly crashing off the end of the runway.

You need to trust that your advertising will do what you built it to do, and that’s to effectively get customers through the door, to your website etc.

Checklist to make sure your campaign is effective and therefore successful:

  • Know where you want to go in business and life.
  • Have an advertising plan
  • Have a clear message that talks to the right people on the right media.

Now you only need to trust and let the advertising take off.

Click Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed our earlier posts and don’t forget to follow       Outside Creative for more Helpful Hints.

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