Add Stopping Power to a Marketing Campaign - dummies

Add Stopping Power to a Marketing Campaign

By Alexander Hiam

Stopping power is the ability of an advertisement or other marketing communication to stop people in their tracks or to make them sit up and take notice. Communications with stopping power generate “What did you say?” or “Did you see that?” responses.

You can be sure that thousands of other marketing messages beside your own bombard your customer. This high level of noise in the marketing environment means that most efforts go unnoticed by most of the people they target. That’s why adding a little stopping power to your marketing communications is helpful.

Your stopping power can come from a really clever, attention-getting, creative concept, such as a great visual or a play-on-words type of headline. Some other realistic and easily achievable ways of getting stopping power on a daily basis include the following:

  • Presenting your brand name and logo clearly and boldly whenever and wherever it appears

  • Using strong, large type in ad headlines, brochure and catalog titles, and blog and web page banners, and surrounding that type with enough white space to make sure it pops out of the surrounding page or screen

  • Placing ads and other forms of marketing communications where they aren’t surrounded by similar messages from competitors, even if that means pioneering the use of new media for your marketing and advertising

You can achieve stopping power by using other methods as well, but these methods have their downsides:

  • Humor: Most jokes fall flat, so building your entire marketing program around the idea of trying to be funny isn’t realistic. (Even comedians can’t be funny all the time!) However, if you think you have a really great joke that works perfectly for your marketing communications, give it a try by testing it on at least a dozen customers. If they also love it (and nobody’s offended), then it may be worth a shot.

  • Celebrity endorsements: Big-budget marketers use celebrity endorsements to gain stopping power (if you had Angelina Jolie, surrounded by her kids, promoting your new line of children’s clothes, you can bet everyone would watch and remember your ads).

    But celebrity endorsements are expensive, and most marketers don’t find them practical. (A fun, no-cost way to tap into the appeal of a celebrity is to run a tongue-in-cheek ad featuring a long-dead public figure such as a former president, but use caution.)