Kirk likes to work directly with his ad clients on their creative strategies. “Making a sale is just the first step in the journey,” he said. “It’s a big part of my job to make sure my clients stand out from their competitors on the page and on the screen. When I work with several advertisers who are in the same type of business, it’s a special challenge to create a different ad personality for each one of them.”
Generally speaking, there are two types of advertising. There are image ads that are designed to give consumers a good feeling about the advertiser (for example, “Your safety is our biggest concern”). And there are response ads that are designed to move readers to take action (“Buy one, get one free”).
Kirk is on target in his comments about personality. Whether image or response – whether print or digital – every ad has some kind of personality. Instead of leaving that important advertising ingredient to chance, he is determined to help them develop ad personalities that appeal to their respective target audiences.
Let’s take a look at a few of the tools which can contribute to an ad’s personality – the type of personality that a client wants to project:
From a bold, sans serif headline for a construction equipment distributor to a lighter serif headline for an upscale clothing store, type fonts can create important first impressions.
Although some illustrations can be as realistic as photographs (consider close-cropped, photo-like depictions of tires), most illustrations leave more to the imagination than that. There are a number of choices, including pen and ink, gray tones, charcoal, watercolors and cartoons.
“There are lots of creative options and combinations that give us ways to customize ads for our clients,” Kirk said. “Even if they sell the best products in the world, nobody will read their ads unless they attract attention on the page. That’s why the sale is only the beginning of the process.”
(c) Copyright 2021 by John Foust. All rights reserved.
John Foust has conducted training programs for thousands of newspaper advertising professionals. Many ad departments are using his training videos to save time and get quick results from in-house training. E-mail for information: firstname.lastname@example.org