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Being Relevant: Why It's Important in Advertising

Every so often I see those ads out there that I really want to like. They have (almost) everything: they're witty; they're brilliantly shot; they have fantastic visuals... then the ad ends and I'm left wondering what they were selling.

As you may know, Windows has unveiled their new smartphone, intended to serve as competition for big-selling counterparts, iOS and Android. At first glance, the ads are intriguing. They drew me in, and even as they made fun of me as a smartphone user, rather than feeling turned off, I was throughly entertained. But that was where the brilliance stopped. Their premise was ultimately that their new phone will get users to step away from their current smartphones.

Given some of the inappropriate behavior some users display, I understand the premise, but Windows' never really presents their consumer with a viable solution... unless of course the take away is to reach in to the archives and remember the days when a phone was just that: a phone. Instinctively I know they want me to buy their product, but they haven't given me a reason as to why.

So the question becomes, what can you learn from Windows' ads? What can you do differently when promoting your own product/brand? 

  • Find a unique angle that makes you/your product stand out - Showing a potential weakness of the competition is fine, but you need to provide a solution. Why is your product or company superior? Give the consumer a reason to invest in your product.
  • Make it entertaining, but keep information relevant - An attractive ad will draw people in; an entertaining ad will keep their attention; neither will ultimately cause a consumer to embrace your product. Make sure to provide users with enough information on your product that will make them feel it is worth their consideration.
  • Keep your message clear - Even the most memorable ads won't do their job if your audience is unsure as to how your product will benefit them. One clear message is often all it takes.

Do your research; know your competition; home in on what your clients want. Once you have that, formulate your game plan and run with it. Remember, successful advertising ultimately comes down to one good idea.


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