Did you miss our recent webinar on the “Less is More” approach to advertising? Read on to get caught up or watch the recording below!

We live in a busy world and with such short attention spans among your audience, it means your ad has to make an impact. Some might think that means you have to cram every detail into the ad, but that’s not the case! If you only have 8 seconds to capture someone’s attention, you need to make the most of your ads and say as much as you can with as few words as possible with a “less is more” approach.

You may be creating an ad to get attention, but we are actually creating an ad to start or continue to build a relationship with your audience. To paint a picture of what this means, let’s walk through two hypothetical encounters with a friend.


In the first encounter, your friend walks up to you and downloads everything that has happened to them in the last month, without taking a breath for you to say anything. You are just standing there taking in for a good ten minutes. How do you feel when this happens? Overwhelmed? Not sure where to start? A lot of time encounters like this don’t feel like a two-sided relationship, and you can feel a bit used. Overtime, relationships like this can become toxic and end.

In a second encounter, your friend walks up, asks how you are doing and starts a conversation with you that fills you on on what they are doing and allows you ask questions and for you to share your updates as well. How does this encounter make you feel compare to the first?

When we are creating ads, we want to create more of that second experience. We want to create an ad that starts a conversation. That means taking into consideration where the conversation with your audience is taking place, what is surrounding that conversation and what may be competing for your audience’s attention, your audience’s culture, and more. All of this will not only help create those conversations, but also help form deeper connections and relationships with your audience.

Consider the golden days of advertising (the Mad Men era) compared to today’s advertising culture. In the past, you had small list of advertising options like print ads, television, radio, and billboards. Today you have all that plus a huge variety of internet ads, social media, apps on phones, ads in malls, YouTube, and the list goes on and on.

You also have to factor in consumer perception. In the past, people were very trusting of big brands and brand loyalty was unprecedented. Today’s audience was shaped by the Great Recession, which turned their lives upside down when these big brands were affected. People lost money, their jobs, and even their homes. The consumers of today are skeptical of clean, polished, and perfect companies because, from their experience, this type of business was deceptive and hurt them. They are looking for transparent companies that are not perfect and value honesty, will have a good conversation and not just hid behind a brand. This is important to know because when  you are communicating with your audience, the goal is to connect with them and build relationships that are good for both parties.

Keeping in mind where your audience is coming from, it’s important that you create an ad they will truly connect with. But in today’s culture, we’re inundated with ads everywhere we look and go. Think about all the digital ads in Times Square, the back pages of your favorite magazine, and even the ads in your internet browser.  With ads all over the place, you’ve got to cut through the clutter and stand out in a way that gives your end consumer an honest look at who you are. When you understand who you are connecting with and the culture you are inserting into, we then decide how we are going to connect, cut through the clutter and get to our goal.  

In order to get there, you need to know about the three things your ad must do.

  1. Get your audience’s attention.
  2. Connect with your audience through clear messaging supported by crisp, clear images that help tell the story, focusing on the problem you are solving, not the product or service you’re selling.
  3. Create a reasonable call to action so your audience knows exactly what you want them to do. Keep in mind where your audience is consuming the ad when you are crafting your call to action. Also, keep in mind that the brain is able to easily recognized simpler messages. Think Nike’s “Just do it” and McDonalds’ “I’m lovin’ it” ads.

We know it’s a lot of information to process, so we’re going to take a break. When we come back with Part 2, we’ll start looking at real world examples and applications of the three things we need an ad to do.

Categories: Marketing