How to Ruin an Ad – Part 6

Welcome to the latest edition of our current weekly blog series, How to Ruin an Ad. As is most obvious from the title of this series, each week we’ll be identifying a key element of an ad that, when missing, is sure to reduce its effectiveness.

Last week’s ad was ruined by no call to action.

Today’s ad is ruined by: Not Fulfilling a Promise

Lots of advertisers make loads of big claims in their ads. The best this, and the greatest that.

Making promises in your ads is a good strategy. You can use those promises to show consumers why they should choose your brand over any other.

But those promises fall flat when you can’t keep them.

A wise person once said, “branding is the promises you make, your brand is the promises you keep.” People are never going to associate your company with the promises you make in your ads, they are going to associate your company with their experience doing business with you.

On its face, that makes it seem like it might be a good idea to make lots of outrageous claims on your ads to attract new customers, and who cares if those promises go unfulfilled. The problem is, consumers aren’t stupid, and they don’t live in a vacuum. Consumers talk to each other and will ruin your business if you make claims your products or service can’t live up to.

Advertisers and marketers must work hand in hand with the product and service teams to make sure the promises you make to consumers are promises your company is able to live up to.

Did you enjoy this post? Do you have a surefire way to ruin an ad you think we should cover in an upcoming post? Share it with us in the comments or by email.

The First Rule of Marketing

Don't talk about marketing. No that's not it.

Keep your promises! That’s what Seth Godin reminded us in a recent post.

While that advice has many useful meanings in many different situations, I took away one specific use case.

As a marketer, we are constantly making promises about our brand, about our products and services, in an attempt to attract customers. And often, we use the word promise or guarantee when we make those claims. So not only do we promote certain benefits, we trap ourselves into following through.

One of the easiest ways to ruin your brand image is not to follow through on the promises of your marketing message. If I’m buying a new camera that’s advertised as the be all and end all when it comes to taking professional quality photos, well then I better see professional quality photos right away. If I open a checking account with a bank that promises to be the most convenient, I better not be dissatisfied with the level of service I get.

The risk of making a promise is that sometimes there are things that are not in your control. And while fancy promises and guarantees might bring in $$, you have to be careful not to overuse them. The same message that was the reason you sold thousands of units of your latest product can be the reason you now have hundreds of pissed off customers ranting and raving in the public eye.

Keep your promises and you’ll build loyal customers.