Make them laugh, or motivate them to give
Sometimes you see an ad that makes you laugh. Later on, you remember the joke -- but not what the ad was for.
Was that ad successful?
Of course not. Unless you live in the funny-farm world of ad agencies, where "getting attention" is the goal, never mind what that attention is for, or whether it leads to any specific action.
Denny Hatch's Business Common Sense takes a sharp look at this in Do Clownish Ads Work?. It seems a popular Boston seafood restaurant advertises itself with pictures of "fresh" fish that say slightly insulting things. Ha. Ha. It's a joke. It's not about the restaurant, it's not about the customer. Just a joke. It gets "attention." Hatch calls it:
... non-sequitur advertising. Copywriters are hoping to force the reader/viewer to connect puzzling dots, which means the product or service is lost in a blizzard of cleverness.
Cleverness is a lot of fun. But it doesn't motivate people. In fact, most people don't get the joke. Why should they? They've got their own lives to live -- no time or inclination to study your puzzle of an ad.
And, as Hatch reminds us, "If you want response to an advertisement, make an offer. No offer, no response."
Keep your thoughts on your donors. And your cause. And how the two come together. Forget the jokes. Forget showing off how smart you are. Those things always kill your marketing.
And you might end up showcased as a Stupid Nonprofit Ad.
Technorati Tag: advertising