Updated: Monday, 31 Dec 2012, 9:50 AM EST
Published : Friday, 16 May 2008, 11:38 AM EDT
You've probably asked yourself, "Is my advertising working?" However, the more important question is, "What did I specifically want my advertising to accomplish?" Without a particular target in mind, it's hard to know whether or not you hit the target. It's important, though, to spend your energy on a well-focused advertising campaign. These suggestions are valuable for any business in any industry.
To do this you must first define the campaign parameters. Here are steps to determine your boundaries.
Identify a target market - Don't try to be all things to all people. Review your previous sale records, observe your current customers, and check your market potential. Clearly select a certain demographic to target.
Develop a focused strategy and goals - Try to see things through your customers' eyes, and don't forget to take a hard took at your competitors and how they attract customers. Decide what marketing strategy will be most successful - percent off, finance offers, selection, design service, quality or simply increasing sales on current inventory. Decide what the goal is and focus all your efforts and resources on that goal.
Create a meaningful message that will motivate your market - Choose one or two messages and reinforce them constantly. Don't confuse the consumer, keep clear what is distinctive about your business.
The TV Commercial Tape Measure
Television's different commercial lengths offer great flexibility to an advertiser. Depending on what you want to say, and how you want to say it, these are the commercial lengths local advertisers find work best for them.
10-Second Commercials - The 10-second commercial can have as much impact as its longer commercial counterparts due to television's special qualities: sight, sound, motion and emotion. Use it to capture viewers' attention by focusing on a specific point.
30-Second Commercials - This is the commercial length that the great majority of advertisers find most practical. It allows an advertiser plenty of time to create a specific image. It is also used to highlight one or more pricing facts and detail the overall benefits of a business or service.
60-Second Commercials - This commercial length is used when an advertiser feels the need to communicate more information about a product or service. It has the ability to get viewers totally involved in the advertiser's message.
Commercial Length Activity - The 30-second commercial has traditionally been the most widely used commercial length. In 1980 it accounted for 85.1% of all non-network television commercial activity. In 1993 it accounted for 84.2% of non-network commercial activity. In 1980 the 10-second commercial accounted for 7.8% of non-network commercial activity. In 1993 that figure had dropped to 3.6%. The 60-second commercial represented 3.9% of commercial activity in 1980, 3.2% in 1993.
Non-network Commercial Activity by Length of Commercial (2000)
The Floor Plan For An Effective TV Commercial
Here are ten commercial production tips from more than 25 creative heads of top advertising agencies in the U.S. who were asked, "What do you believe are the most important elements every creative television commercial should have?"
Keep It Simple - Keep to a single element. Have a single message. A big, but single benefit. Show one thing. Say one thing so as not to confuse the viewer.
Have One Basic Idea - Show the fundamental customers the benefit you offer, your underlying reason for asking people to become your customers.
Make Your Point Clear - Keep to the point and make it easy to understand. Do not detract from your major benefit.
Make It Unique... Different - Do the unexpected. Use unusual things. Surprise the viewers. It helps them remember you.
Get Viewer Attention - A commercial can't sell if it isn't seen, and it won't be seen if it doesn't get viewer attention. Keep the viewer watching every step of the way.
Involve the Viewer - Make the viewer feel part of what's happening. Lean on common experiences. Create a meaningful or provocative situation that calls for viewer response.
Use Emotion - Arouse the viewer's feelings. Prompt the viewer to respond. Make the viewer pay attention for the length of the commercial.
Consider Production Values - Sight, sound, motion, emotion. All these combine to make television the most powerful advertising medium.
Prove the Benefit - Demonstrate to viewers that what you claim is true.
Identify Yourself - Identify yourself so well, so thoroughly, that your name stands out differently and calls attention to itself.