The Message in Advertising
by John A. Wojtecki
September 27, 2019

If you look up Bruce Barton, he has a thoughtful quotation worthy of discussion. “In good times people want to advertise; in bad times they have to.”

Advertising is everywhere. When we approach Muscatine on Highway 61 from Davenport, we see billboards extolling a fast food chain, our community college, and a welcome to the City of Muscatine, to mention a few. I remember seeing them. I bet you are thinking of them now and remember them too.

When I taught Junior Achievement years ago, I remember using a page of logos with no words. The students were pretty good at identifying the companies. The companies varied from cereals to cars.
If we post the image:

we know we are seeing the image for Muscatine Schools. The district has so successfully presented the image in its communications that no explanation is necessary. In business, we see how important it is to carry a strong message to advertise your business.

Taboola has suggested that there are four tips for driving conversations about your advertising.

  1. Choose a topic that resonates with people who are already considering your product. From a business perspective, this reaches out to potential customers and may help with the purchasing decision.
  2. Make your content easy to read and understand. This is both an art and a science. Advertising staffs work long and hard at portraying their product as worthy of your investments. Notable portrayals include, “M’m! M’m! Good!” “Snap! Crackle! Pop!” and “All you add is love.”
  3. Simplify your call to action. Easily said – buy our product.
  4. Put the call to action at the bottom or last in your message. Being direct can be a turn off. Thus, the rewards are first. Now then, how does one get to those rewards? On a number of sites, effort is made to enhance the look and quality of the product. Clearly explain your call to action. Say why you want people to purchase or use your product or service.

One might ask about placing ads on the internet. I know I have seen when I search for an item, say a pair of walking shoes, and then, a few days later, companies that make walking shoes have ads on my social media and my Google searches. Yes, those companies do track my searches. I once sought out advertising on Google for my business. Google would only charge me a “per click” if someone searched my advertising. It would be interesting to track those who clicked and see if they purchased.

A Henry Ford quote puts our discussion on advertising in perspective, “Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.”

(If you were wondering what the advertising slogans used above represent, they are in order: 1. M’m! M’m! Good!: Campbell’s Soup, 2. Snap! Crackle! Pop!: Kellogg’s Rice Krispies, 3. All you add is love: Ralston Purina Pet Food.)

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