Bad advertising is everywhere. And offline advertising is just as bad, if not worse, than online advertising. Luckily, both can be learned from.
And some advertising that I see is so bafflingly bad that it actually becomes instructive to show it to you — as an example of what NOT to do.
This is the purpose of the Bad Advertising series. Let’s pick up where we left off.
If you remember I was eating lunch at my local, upscale mall a few weeks ago, when I was bombarded by the advertisements of a company called Ziba, who had launched an expensive, but horrendously off target marketing campaign.
I got my lunch and sat down at a table in the middle of the bustling Food Court. And at every single table I saw this:
On every, single, table… HUNDREDS of them.
If you look at this 8 x 12 postcard sized, free standing ad, a full 2/3 of it is devoted to a woman holding a string to her face.
Now, there is something to be said about an attractive woman getting attention for an ad, but not when the rest of the ad is off kilter.
Like the expression says, "You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear". And there are a lot of things inherently wrong with this ad that NO picture can save…
Here were some of the disastrous errors that immediately sprang to mind:
* No attention grabbing headline to pre determine who the target market is, or to make a compelling offer or promise.
* Again, the huge, pointless picture that fills up 2/3 of the ad. It’s not that the picture in and of itself is bad. It’s that the image is confusing. A person’s first thought when looking at this picture is not, "Wow this is a beautiful face devoid of unwanted hair… I would like to know how that happened…" Instead, the white lines criss-crossing the model’s face look like printing errors, not the device used to remove hair. It’s confusing, and a confused mind does not buy.
* Extremely limited copy. Of the remaining third of the ad (the part not filled by the pointless picture), a third is devoted to the name of the company (ZIBA), and another 1/3 is dedicated to store locations.
* The final third has some copy, but it’s CONFUSING. Just like the large display ad we covered in Part 1 of this series, the miniscule amount of copy talks about the "Art of Threading" What the heck is "threading?" And how is it an art? What’s in it for me?
* No call to action. In a tiny, TINY paragraph it talks about threading being an ancient Indian technique that removes hair from the face and body. That’s it. That makes me about as excited to take action as taking a tour of a cardboard box factory.
So remember, Lesson #1 was – Who is your prospect and how can your product or service benefit her?
Lesson #2 is – Does your ad create or intensify your prospect’s desire for the type of product you’re selling by presenting the benefits it will bring to his or her life?
No dice here, Ziba…
I mean, these ads are still not giving me ANY compelling reasons or benefits to even THINK about taking the time to see what this is all about.
Granted, I am not the target market, but ANYONE looking at this ad has no information to go on, no emotions being triggered, and no answer to the question "what do I get out of it?"
And as I looked across the huge food court, with its vast ocean of tables, and its hundreds of pointless advertisements, I couldn’t help but wonder how expensive just THIS portion of the Ziba marketing campaign was. It couldn’t seem to get any worse.
Or so I thought.
Little did I know that the best was yet to come. Just when I thought that this campaign couldn’t slide further downhill, it did…
Talk to you next time about it.
To your success,