Marketing: How to Give Ads Greater Stopping Power - dummies

Marketing: How to Give Ads Greater Stopping Power

By Alexander Hiam

Creativity in marketing can create “stopping power,” (in other words, how attention-grabbing it is) to your campaign. Incorporating stopping power in your ads doesn’t have to be difficult. You can give your ads for magazines, the web, TV, or radio (as well as catalogs and websites) stopping power by

  • Being dramatic: Tell an interesting story, create suspense, or draw the audience into an event in the life of an interesting character. The principles of good storytelling work well. After all, who doesn’t love a good story?

    However, sometimes the story is more relevant to brand positioning and doesn’t create a new, powerful reason to stop and stare. Consider whether a new chapter or a new story with a deadline (some amazing promo?) is going to be needed to bump up the stopping power.

  • Creating an emotional response: Often people relate to an ad or other message on the emotional level first; their emotional response then draws them into the ad, encouraging them to take the time to digest its information.

    This principle holds true even if you’re making a rational appeal. So give your ads emotional impact, by showing a beautiful picture of a tropical beach with footprints leading down it or by using a cute, charming child as a spokesperson.

  • Stimulating curiosity: Your ad should make the audience want to know more. This desire gets viewers to stop and study the ad and follow up with further information searches afterward. One of the secrets to stimulating curiosity is not flooding each communication with information. Be brief. Use the least amount of info necessary to be persuasive; you’ll leave viewers curious and looking for more.

  • Surprising the audience: A startling headline, an unexpected visual image, an unusual opening gambit in a sales presentation, or a weird display window in a store — all have the power to stop people by surprising them.

    So, for example, a headline that says “We go out of business every day” has more stopping power than a headline that says “We have everyday low prices,” even though both headlines communicate the same marketing message.

  • Communicating expected information in a detcepxenu way: (Here’s a hint: Try reading that mystery word backward.) A creative twist or a fresh way of saying or looking at something makes the expected unexpected.

    Yes, you have to get the obvious information in: what the brand is, who it benefits, and how. But you don’t have to do so in an obvious way. If you do, your communication won’t reach out and grab attention, causing your audience to ignore it.

Crafting an ad that has fresh, new drama or that says the expected in an unexpected way surprises people and takes creativity. When you need to get those creative juices flowing, try group exercises like brainstorming or other idea games.