Amanda told me about taking over the advertising account of a business which had been placing ads in her paper for a long time. “In our first meeting, the owner said he had been running what he called a ‘campaign’ for over a year. I pulled a few recent issues out of my briefcase and placed them on his desk.
“As we looked at his ad in each issue, I asked a few simple questions – how they were working, how he got the idea to run the same thing without any changes, and so on. He admitted that he initially thought running the same ad all the time would create name recognition. But eventually, he got so busy that advertising fell off his radar, even though the ads didn’t work as well as before.
“I told him that continually running the same ad is not really a campaign,” she explained. “Then we talked about the fact that a real campaign features a series of ads which connect to form a consistent image and consistent offers. A genuine campaign stays fresh, because something new is always happening.”
Does this sound familiar? Are there advertisers in your market who are stuck on the same ad, week after week after week? As you work with them, keep in mind that campaigns share some common traits. Here are a few:
Let the calendar be your guide. Certain products and services are marketed in cold months, and others are marketed in warm months. Then there are holiday sales, inventory clearances and anniversary sales.
The same goes for illustrative elements (photos and drawings), copy styles, and ad sizes.
When Amanda described the ins and outs of campaigns to her advertiser, he agreed to try an authentic campaign. “As things progressed, his response rates improved,” she said. “Along the way, he became more involved in his advertising. That was good news for everybody – his business, his customers and our paper.”
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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. Email for information: email@example.com