One of the most best little summaries of advertising technique that I’ve come across, especially from the copywriter’s perspective, comes in The craft of copywriting: How to write great copy that sells by Alastair Crompton. In the book, the author points out that there are two types of advertising – ads where there is something to say, and ads where there is nothing to say.
If there’s something to say, say it
If there’s something to say, say it. Say it at length. Say it again. Repeat it, because repetition is reputation.
But if there is a lot to say, you will also need to simplify it down to a single, memorable thought. The Big Idea.
If there’s nothing to say, use style
Lots of products (and services) have no real story to tell. There’s nothing exceptional about them, certainly nothing that will seem relevant to the potential customer. This, says Crompton, is where showmanship comes in.
Use style, humour, creative ideas. You’re persuading people to buy because they like the ad, and that makes them feel good about the brand.