Most people do not need to be artistic or particularly creative to know an excellent, effective ad when they see one. So, be honest, do your ads suck? Here’s why bad ads are so bad, how you can tell if they reek, and a few things you can do about it.

Do your ads suck?
Lousy Ad examples are everywhere. If only they tested them first to avoid the potentially high cost of terrible advertising.

Crappy Ads cost you big time

Bad ads are such a waste. Like terrible signage, bad ads burn your money and make media guys richer. They may be presented to many targeted eyeballs, but they fail. They fail to get action, or worse; they fail to get any attention at all. Not only that, if your ad is bad enough, it can even create ill will towards your brand if it forces a visitor to view with no ability to ignore. Now that is an ad that sucks.

How do you know if your ad sucks?

Your ads may be like children to you, and it’s hard to say your child is ugly. That’s why it’s essential to test the ad for effectiveness objectively, meaning not just you alone. While it’s true that you can enlist friends and family for their opinions, these are often unreliable assessments. Friends and family – even perfect strangers – will tell you what they think you want to hear…especially if the ad sucks. In the ad agency business, we cannot even trust focus groups anymore without lots of tricks to uncover the brutally honest opinions we need.

Online Ads: technology will expose bad ads

Among the best ways to know your ad is good is to use analytics and let the behavior of perfect strangers tell you if you have a winner. Even better, pit your ad to be tested against one or two other ad variations and see which get the clicks, among other things. There’s always a winner among two or three ads. Once you know the bottom performer, you can pitch it and try another variation. Over time there’s always a better ad, so it’s an ongoing process.

Print Ads? Call a proven pro

If your ad is intended to be a print ad, such as a magazine, insert, newspaper, billboard, etc., then you owe it to yourself to hire the opinion of a professional if not the design itself. Now, this doesn’t mean hop on The Net and hire $15 hr Punjab from New Delhi to spit out something for you either. Come on man! A good ad set will run and pay dividends for a long time, sometimes years! Do yourself a favor, and hire a professional. Print ads are just too expensive to gamble on for most small to medium businesses.

Why roll the dice when you can have a sure thing?

Test. Test. Test. No matter what, and you’ll see success beyond your dreams with all else being equal. Great ads cannot overcome bad products, services, or customer service, or pricing strategy. Assuming that stuff is in order, great ads will take care of the rest. I mean what I said too, why roll the dice on anything that you can test at a low cost and KNOW you got a winner (or a dog)? Seriously. It’s that simple.

If you need some help with any of this stuff, give us a shout, and we’ll take care of you. Good luck!


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