Advertising Copy – Qualities, Elements, Evaluation of Effectiveness

Advertising Copy can be anything ranging from a simple text to an aesthetically created art form or the catchy music that gets played in the background or the famous celebrity who performs in the advertisement.

Advertising a product or brand is done through many mediums. There are newspapers and Magazines that carry many pages of Advertisements. Advertising in this form is termed as Print Media. Advertising can be done through visual and audio media which are typically Television channels and Radio channels. Irrespective of the mode through which advertising is done, the texts displayed or the words, jingle heard in the advertisements remains in our memory acting as a constant reminder for the brand and its products.

Advertising Copy helps an organization to communicate a specific message to the targeted public. Advertising Copy plays a crucial role in taking the marketing efforts of companies to customers. Creating an Advertising Copy for the Print Media and Electronic Media differs on various aspects. While the Print Media focus on positioning and appearance of Advertising Copy to have an positive impact, the Electronic Media focuses on catching the hearts of people within a few seconds of the allocated time.

To put it in a nut shell, an Advertising copy is the message from the Advertiser to the targeted audience. The more intense and attractive the Ad copy is, the higher is the reach and effectiveness of the advertisement.

Qualities of a good Advertising Copy

Creating Advertising Copy requires a great amount of expertise and high levels of creativity. The originality every Advertising Copy exhibits decides the level of its success.

  1. Advertising Copy must be designed in such a manner that it grabs the attention of the viewers or readers right at the first instance

  2. Advertising Copy must be simple and straightforward so the intended message reaches the targeted audience easily

  3. Advertising copy must ensure that the intended message is communicated directly instead of causing ambiguities in the minds of readers or viewers

  4. Advertising Copy must ensure that colours and background are used in an appropriate and suitable manner so instead of getting attracted customers do not feel irritated

  5. Advertising copy can announce the cost of the product or service being advertised since this can help people take a quick decision pertaining to their purchase of the same. This will enable quick decision making since many a time customers do not go in for a product or service due to misconceptions about the price points

  6. Advertising Copy must provide the required guidance to the targeted audience which will benefit the advertiser in a huge manner

  7. Advertising Copy must project only the exact message about the product that needs to be conveyed to the customers. Any type of exaggeration might not be received well by the customers.

  8. Advertising Copy must tend to educate customers regarding the products and services being promoted.

  9. Advertising Copy must be strong enough to remain in the memory of people for many years to come

  10. Advertising Copy must carry the truth about the products and services without communicating misleading false information about the same

Elements of Advertising Copy

Two elements that play an important role in making an Advertising Copy a high quality one are:

  1. Advertising Theme

  2. Advertising Layout

Advertising Theme

Theme, in general terms, means a specific concept. Any view point can be considered as a theme based on the idea that is to be promoted when it comes to product or service promotion. Themes are usually based on a logic or rationale and try to address the sentiments or emotions of target customers. Themes are designed to arouse the interest of customers. They tend to cause desires in people which acts as a strong basic to their purchase related decision making.

Advertising Themes are of many types. The below list automatically substantiates the factors that act as the basis for the formation of different types of themes.

• Patriotism related themes – Some examples for such theme creation are for products made within the nation. Such themes generally reflect patriotism through the usage of national symbols and sentiments

• Beauty related themes – This theme is basically used for promoting products and services related to beauty. Promotion for products like toiletries, perfumes and cosmetics fall under this category acting as some among the many beneficiaries.

• Distinction related themes – Such themes are mainly applicable for products and services that are considered as prestige or status symbol. Such products and services are usually used by aristocrats who belong to the higher levels of the society.

• Health related themes – Health theme is used by advertisers for promoting products and services that belong to the food and Nutrition and health sector. Right from the Advertising texts to visuals, this theme contributes in promoting health related products and services immensely.

• Fear related themes – Themes that are related to fear are highly useful in promoting Finance, Safety Lockers and Insurance related products. The psychology of fear is utilized by firms that deal with such products which highlight the perils in life to advertise prominent features about their products.

• Economy related themes – Economy related themes are used mostly by advertisers whose products and services target to safeguard properties of customers. These properties may range anywhere between movable to immovable ones. These themes advertise products and services that prevent damage to the things held by customers.

• Affection related themes – This kind of theme is mainly used to promote products related to family and children use. Affection theme is highly effective when real life scenarios are simulated and shown through advertisements. They are made effective enough to touch the heart of customers kindling their emotions. The psychological aspect targeted is expected to fetch business for the firms that use this theme.

• Imitation related themes – Emulation is one of those acts that attract customers in a strong manner. It is highly human to imitate their favourite character and this theme makes use of this human tendency. When famous personalities are used in the promotion of products, the psychological impact it has due to the feeling of awe or fan following markets the product easily.

• Comfort related themes – The fast mechanical way of life have always made humans search for comforts every now and then. This theme is used by advertisers who offer products and services that are comforting in nature to the customers. Comfort related themes makes use of human psychology that seeks pleasure, to promote their products and services

• Pride related themes – Many products and services are sought by customers just to enjoy the proud feeling such a possession offers. A costly diamond ring or a prestigious car makes the owner proud. Companies that manufacture such products advertise their products and value adding services using themes that are related to pride

The success of Advertising Copy depends heavily on the theme being chosen for promoting a product or service. This is one of the main reasons why business houses outsource their advertising activities to professional agencies who specialize in the same.

Advertising Layout

Advertising Layout plays an important role when it comes to advertising through print media. Print media has long lasting effect on the minds of readers. Owing to the same, promoting products and services through print media demand huge efforts in terms of advertising. Advertisements that are strong in the following three aspects are sure to reach out the targeted audience in the most effective manner.

  1. Texts

  2. Illustrations

  3. Headlines

• Texts – Texts basically revolve round the theme earlier finalized for promoting the product or service. Texts must go well with the theme and match the message that the theme communicates. Preparing the text is an art by itself and tremendous expertise is called for preparing memory catching text in advertisements. Texts are used in different ways by advertisers. While some advertisers prefer simple question like text to kindle the interest of the reader, some advertisers prefer to give complete details about their products and services to customers. It depends on the kind of products and services based on which the quantity of text is decided by advertisers and marketing companies.

• Illustrations – Illustrations are that form of advertising in which pictorial representation about the product or services marketed is given. These pictures need not be that of the product that is promoted itself but any type of symbols or photographs that act as pointers to the products or services promoted. Care must be taken not to exceed pictorial representation since this may cramp the surface making the same unclear. Caution must be practiced not to print obscene or vulgar pictures since this may cause damage to the brand image or product that is being promoted.

• Headlines – Headlines play a crucial role in attracting or repelling the prospective customers. A well planned and executed headline can attract huge business opportunities to the advertising efforts. Right from the size of the font to the colour of the same, every aspect of headline is important to reach the message in the appropriate manner to the targeted customer. Some publications practice printing key headlines in colours while some use bold fonts to highlight the message. The appropriateness of font style and size to the positioning of the message in the print version plays a crucial role in attracting the target reader in an effective and quick manner.

Advertising Copy – Evaluation of Effectiveness

Advertising is an area in which business firms invest a huge amount of money in a regular and periodical manner. Hence, the business expectations w.r.t. to advertising are also high. This makes it important for the Advertising Agency or the internal Marketing Communications Team to evaluate the effectiveness of Advertisements in a periodic manner. Professional methods have been set up over a period of time for evaluating Advertising effectiveness. Some such methods used for evaluating the success or effectiveness of Advertisements are:

  1. Pre-Testing Method

  2. Concurrent Testing Method

  3. Post Testing Method

Pre-Testing Methods of Advertising Copy

Pre-Testing Method are used to assess the effectiveness of a planned advertisement before it is released. It may be done through the following five tests –

• Mechanical Tests – Mechanical Tests are carried out with the help of hardware devices that track the effectiveness of advertisements through the physical movements of customers involved. Some of the mechanical devices generally used in such tests are Tachistoscope, Perceptoscope, Psycho-Galvanometer and Eye Movement Camera. Based on the eye movements and emotions displayed by the customer who is involved in these tests, the impact levels of the advertisement are captured by the advertising company.

• Opinion Tests – Opinion Test is also referred to as Jury Test in the business arena. Business Houses and Advertising Agencies which feel it is appropriate to get the opinion of an expert about the advertisement choose this option. The Jury or the panel of Jurors present their opinion about the advertisement covering all the individual aspects like the chosen theme, presentation style including the text and related aspects, the effectiveness of the slogans or headlines used etc. This method offers a huge advantage to business houses which stand huge advantage of taking the required course corrections right at the early stage of advertising using the opinion conveyed by the expert jury.

• Checklist Tests – Professional Advertising Companies who are filled with experts in all walks of advertising arena follow this method as a compulsory activity. The Checklist Method of testing presents a list of components an effective advertisement must possess. Such a checklist provides complete guidance in terms of the characteristics a high quality advertisement must have. Filling in the checklist makes the advertisement highly effective since the parameters required for the same would have been covered in a meticulous manner.

• Inquiry Tests – Inquiry Test is one of the types of pre-testing done to ascertain the effectiveness of Advertisements. Inquiry Test needs to be carried out more than once or even twice sometimes to understand the effectiveness of the different components used in the advertisement. Inquiry Test can be conducted for specific aspects of the advertisement also if only one or a couple of elements in the same look ambiguous. Modifications can be made only to those aspects of advertisement that get a negative or low scoring during the inquiry testing.

• Portfolio Tests and Dummy Magazine Tests – Portfolio Tests are very close to Dummy Magazine Tests. As the very name suggests, advertisements are released in dummy magazines with regular looking editorial and other related components. Such Dummy Magazines are released in a limited edition manner to a group of target audience. Their opinion is taken based on the recall impact of the advertisement. Portfolio Tests are also done by making copies of the advertisement for which opinion is sought and distributing them in a folder. In this second method, the advertisements are not circulated in a magazine form but through folders designed for the purpose.

Concurrent Testing Methods of Advertising copy

Concurrent Testing Methods are used to test the effectiveness of an Advertisement when it has been released and is still in circulation. They are –

• Mechanical Devices – Broadcast Media is known for using many mechanical devices to test the effectiveness of Advertisements in a concurrent manner. Some such mechanical devices used by the Broadcast Media for testing the effectiveness of Advertisements are Truck Electronic Unit, Audio Meters, Tachistoscope and Psycho Galvanometer.

• Consumer Diaries – As the name suggests, consumers who are selected for the process of evaluating the effectiveness of the Advertisement are handed over diaries. Diaries may be handed over to the members of the families in a collective manner or one each. The feedback of family members in the diaries are monitored in a periodical manner for inputs and scores are calculated based on the same.

• Traffic Counts – Traffic counts is one of the testing methods used in concurrent assessment of the effectiveness of Advertisements. Traffic Counts of advertisements can be calculated with the help of Advertising Agencies as well as Private and Government companies available for the purpose.

• Co-Incidental Surveys – These are surveys done by the Advertisers to understand from the consumers directly about their on-the-spot feedback. For instance, when the advertisement is on the air, telephonic calls are made to chosen set of customers who are asked about the programme they are watching and the advertisement they are viewing. All results collected in this manner are collated to arrive at a final score by consumers for the advertisement.

Post Testing Methods of Advertising copy

The effectiveness of Advertisements is also tested after the completion of the advertising campaign to determine the effectiveness and response of the campaign. It may be done through –

• Split-Run Tests – In the Split-run test, multiple copy of an advertisement with mild modifications between the two in the various elements involved. Both versions of the advertisements are published in the same magazine simultaneously. The response levels to each of the advertisement are taken into account to assess the effectiveness of the same.

• Inquiry Tests – Inquiry Tests measure the effectiveness of advertisements released in different media. The success of advertising and the effectiveness of the advertisement are measured through the number of inquiries received through each media. This assessment indicates the effectiveness of the media in which the advertisement is released on a comparative scale with the others.

• Sales Tests – Sales Tests happen directly based on the sales volume achieved with respect to the advertisement released. This assessment takes into consideration the media through which the advertisement was released. This test encourages release of advertisements in a constant manner in different types of medium.

• Recall tests – Recall Tests check for the effectiveness of advertisement in terms of capturing the memory of consumers. Consumers who are selected to undergo this type of testing are not allowed to look at or hear the advertisements for which they are check on. The recall levels of people indicate the effectiveness and reach of the advertisements. This test helps advertisers to ascertain the effectiveness of media also in which the advertisements are released.

• Recognition Tests – Recognition Tests comprises of Listenership Surveys and readership surveys. The recognition capabilities of people who try to identify themselves with the earlier seen or heard advertisement acts as the basis for this system. Recognition Tests assess the effectiveness of Advertisements released through different media through the survey results obtained.

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