A hardworking print ad doesn’t try to be clever!

Let’s take a look at a few principles for writing and designing effective print ads. And instead of rehashing “classic” ads that you always see in advertising and marketing textbooks, let’s just pick an ad out of the newspaper. That’s where a lot of the ad dollars go anyway.

newspaper print adHere’s one I ran across today in my local paper. It’s not pretty. And it ain’t Shakespeare. But it’s a damn good ad. Why? Mostly because it’s all business. The copywriter isn’t trying to entertain. The designer isn’t trying to impress. Take a good look.

The ad copy here is doing smart things:

1. The headline selects the audience and identifies a problem.

2. The subhead promises a solution.

3. The body copy suggests the solution is easy.

4. The offer is simple and direct. And it’s free!

5. The title of “Dr.” and the testimonials establish credibility.

The ad design is smart as well:

1.The headline and subhead are big and bold.

2. The illustration ties directly to the headline.

3. The body copy is in large type and bulleted to make reading easy and scanning effortless.

4. The offer and call to action are highlighted and cannot be missed.

5. There is not one hint of cleverness to distract from the message.

This print ad won’t win a single award. Most ad agency copywriters or designers couldn’t bear to be in the same room with a print ad like this. But this is solid advertising. This is the sort of ad that works!

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