• Mike Prasad

What makes a good ad?

I’m a cat lover.


If you’re not that’s ok, we can still get along. Keep reading as this applies to everyone.


Around December 2016, we got our little kitten “Kiki” from an SPCA office.


It had been years since I had a cat but over time I guess cat’s don’t change much.


Like most animals and humans, the cat will do anything to have an itch - scratched.

Rolling on the floor. Brushing against a wall, the ironing board, the couch, your leg.

It doesn’t matter.


If Kiki has an itch she has to have it relieved - if you will. Of course she can use any one of her paws to do it. But often it means one of us will have to give her a quick rub.


An itch - that has to be scratched, is just like curiosity.


Once you have a curious thought in your head, and if it’s powerful enough - you’ll do what you have to get the answer.


For most us that means using the Google and typing in your question and hitting the go button. If you’re really living dangerously you’ll hit the “I’m feeling lucky” button.


The world of advertising is filled with terrible ads that cost companies money and make you want to eat brussel sprouts and stab your tongue with a fork.


The world of advertising is filled with great ads that have reached and sold gazillions of dollars.


My goal is to be in the former camp.


Unfortunately, most ads these days don’t do enough to bring out this raw human emotion of curiosity.


Too many businesses and ad companies want to create ads that use fewer words and more pictures or images.


Along with these pictures is usually a lame attempt at a cheesy slogan.


The only thing this does is cause the reader to have to think too much.


And gawd forbid you make people think these days.


With all of the distractions going on in someone’s head these days, do you really want to leave that to chance?


I hope not.


Here are a few general rules:

  • People don’t buy because of your slogan - unless you’re Nike or Apple etc and I’m betting you’re not.

  • People don’t buy because you’re funny, or clever or you use pretty stock photography images

  • People don’t buy because you brag that you’re the best in town

  • People don’t buy because you’ve been around since 1903.

  • And...people don’t buy EVEN if you have a good product

There is only ONE reason people are “sold” by an ad.


It’s because the ad is actually a “salesman in print”.


A salesman who has a solution to your most pressing itch or problems in your life.


A salesman who has the answer on how to make your happier, healthier, richer and better looking.


With a great ad, this “salesman” knows how to Give you an itch and then tease you and then offer you a solution to relieve that itch with what he’s selling.


Unfortunately for most businesses, there’s the thinking that we just need our ad to entertain prospects.


They think if we can do that they’ll remember us. They’ll think of us and remember our little jingle where there browsing through the store or online.


Good luck with that.


The only thing that really counts for a business that uses advertising is whether or not the product/service got sold because of the ad.


The ads that do generate sales or those that use the principles of direct response.

Those ads that use long copy inside of newspapers and magazines.


Those late night infomercials. Yes Infomercials!


These ads when done right grab the attention of their target audience...then make an irresistible offer...and ask for an action. That could be call or contact etc.


The main point is that they do it now, right in the moment.


The ad asks for a response from the reader and that’s where the term direct response comes from.


For the reader/prospect, they can have their curiosity satisfied.


For the business, they can directly measure the success of their ad based on the responses they get.


As a business, you don’t have to sit there and wonder, will the ad get a response?

Are people reading this thing?


Bottom line, successful salespeople always ask for an action.


Likewise, your ad or salespage must do the same.


All of us are selfish. There is no right or wrong, that’s just the way we are.


And good salespeople know and understand this.


If I try to sell you something, you will naturally resist.


However if I can get your attention...then offer you something that fuels or feeds a desire or promises to solve a problem you have


Then describe a deal where you don’t have to risk much if anything


If I sympathize with your resistance, understand your doubts and answer every one of them honestly


If I can show you how you can become richer, happier, healthier all in the fastest, easiest, painless way possible


...and if you believe me and I’ve gained your trust and the risks are minimal but the potential future upside or future benefit is so great - you’ll give it a try.


The prospect can decide all on their own.

They’ve sold themselves so to speak.


That’s sales persuasion.


On the other hand.


If you go with an ad that only entertains, you’re basically saying, ok I’ve entertained you, now why don’t you go about your day.


Maybe if you’re standing in line at the take out restaurant, because your boss is too cheap to pay for delivery - just maybe you might remember my business.

Great salespeople know better.


They know that humans are skeptical things, and couldn’t care less about what you want.


But people can be convinced when the things are explained to them, when the risks are taken away, when their deep desires have been scratched.


Your customers are normal people. They won’t respond to boasting or outrageous claims.


If you’re going to ask for someone’s money, you must appeal to their selfish desires.

You must be a salesman.

© 2019 by Market and Traffic​