BRAD’S RULE #4 Never Run a Full Page Ad

Never Run a Full Page Ad

People read newspapers for the editorial content. They also buy them to check current movie ads, supermarket sales, and classifieds. They do not buy a newspaper to read your ad.

Next time you see someone read a newspaper, watch them carefully. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, when they come to a full page ad, they immediately turn the page.

It’s as though a full-page ad sends this signal to a busy reader:

“Don’t waste your valuable time here!”

People read newspapers for the editorial content. They also buy them to check current movie ads, supermarket sales, and classifieds. They do not buy a newspaper to read your ad.

I can go through a newspaper in 5-10 minutes, and get everything in it that I want. (Okay, Sunday’s New York Times takes me a bit longer.)

Most people skim the headlines, looking for stories that interest them. Often, read the headline and the first few paragraphs and you’ve got 99% of the story.

Your focus is on the stories: ads will be in your peripheral vision – at best. They have to work a lot harder to get your attention.

Get the reader to spend more time on the page with your ad and you’ll increase your response.

Rather than running a full-page ad, run an ad that dominates the page without filling it. Consider running a 6-column ad in an 8-column newspaper.  Even pay a loading (premium) to ensure yours is the only ad on that page.
The readers will stop and look at the headlines on that page.  The more stories there are, the more time they will spend there.  You’ve multiplied the chances that they’ll notice your ad.
You’ve saved money – and increased response.

This rule applies equally to newspapers and magazines. However, it may be harder to apply this technique in smaller magazine pages.

Corollary: Frequency beats size

Do you really need a full-page ad?

Years ago, when I wrote a column for Hong Kong­ based Media Magazine, I took a double-page spread Shearson had run in the Asian Wall Street Journal and reproduced it as a 2-inch 2-column ad.

All the text in that double-page spread fit neatly into that tiny size. (You’ve seen ads like that, right? – More money than sense.)

My column got a very rude response from the Journal’s ad manager – full of words like “image,” “positioning,” and such. Words you can’t measure – and therefore have no meaning to your bottom line.

My theory, by the way, is that people run full­-page newspaper ads because it makes them feel good. The only exception is when the person has so much to say that it would be literally impossible to fit it into a smaller size.

That means: a direct-response ad with a coupon. And you know an ad like this works when you see it repeatedly – time after time.

Anyway, for the same amount of money, Shearson could have run the same message (in my much smaller size) in 66 consecutive issues of the Asian Wall Street Journal.

Would they have increased response …?  You bet.  (Except for one thing – the ad didn’t ask for any response!)

Here are a few of the reasons why frequency beats size:

Repetition increases awareness. Some people vaguely notice an ad the first time – and the second time.  The third or fourth time, it comes to their attention.

Also – especially true of ads asking for money through the mail – repetition increases confidence.  It gives the impression you’re here to stay.

Some of your prospects got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning.  They are just not in the mood today.  Tomorrow could be a different story – if they see your ad tomorrow.

They forgot.  When they saw your ad, they considered calling you or clipping the coupon.  But then the phone rang.  Someone walked into their office.  The baby cried – If they see your ad again tomorrow, they’ll say to themselves:  “Oh yes, I meant to call them yesterday.”

Not today, thank you.  Ever seen those tiny little ads for hemorrhoid remedies …?  Ever read one…?

Chances are:  only if you’ve had hemorrhoids.

If you are not in the market for something, all the advertising in the world is not going to make you buy.

But when lightning (or hemorrhoids strike, you suddenly become very interested in insurance (or hemorrhoid) ads.

If your ad is not in that day’s paper, someone else gets the sale.

– Brad Sugars –

Get your brochures & ads designed in the most effective way (ActionCOACH Fast Track program) … for price & detail information call now 021 2567 5775

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