Ad Cracker

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Advertising Technique:
Promise A Specific Benefit

A benefit is something of value to the target audience. Ask, "What are all the things this product / service can do for me?" And the answer is a list of benefits.

Creative Technique

The persuasive energy in a benefit ad comes from two characteristics. First is the importance of the benefit to the reader. Second is the specificity of the benefit.

Here's an example headline aimed at housewives and househusbands:

"Introducing a washer so gentle it can actually help your clothes last longer."

Ambiguous or abstract words such as "professional" or "beautiful" or "unique" are not specific enough to mean much, if anything, to the reader. Avoid them and their relatives.

Also, with any list of benefits, some benefits will be more important, others less so, depending on the individual. For example:

- Some folks demand superlative service, and are willing to pay for it at the very best hotels.

- Other folks would rather save a dollar, and are delighted to spend their vacation at Motel 6.

Keep in mind that a benefit need not be exclusive to your client. It could be, for example, that many brands of car batteries come with a lifetime guarantee. And clients will sometimes say, "That's not really a benefit. Our competitors could say the same thing."

But that does not matter to the consumer, especially if the competitor is not actually making the claim. And even if consumers are aware that several products offer the same benefit, the ad that brings that benefit to mind can trigger a sale.

Creative tip: Sometimes you should use features rather than benefits. A feature is a characteristic of the product. "This computer has a 10 terabyte hard drive." The benefit, what it can do for the reader is, "This hard drive stores a lot of data, like a gazillion family photos and videos."

But sometimes, as in the above example, a benefit can be inherent in the feature. Most computer shoppers understand the benefit of a 10 terabyte hard drive. So if the vast majority of readers understand the benefit inherent in the feature, there is no need to explain the benefit. Just say the feature.

> Every Creative Director set includes:

- 30 Copy and design techniques to attract attention, engage minds, evoke emotion, and change what people think.

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- 1000s of example ads in traditional, digital and social media.

- Plus slideshows, workshop activity books and professional tips.


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