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8 Tips for Creating an Effective Ad

By: Joyce Hayne

1. Simplicity

The most important tip in creating an effective ad is to keep it simple. Too many advertisers want to cram as much information in an ad as space allows, not leaving any white space and creating so much content that readers don’t take the time to read all the fine print.

2. Imagery

Photos and graphics can be bold and playful to attract attention, as long as they are consistent with your company’s image. A strong image and a few impactful words make a great ad. Think of Nike’s “Just do it” campaign.

3. Clarity

One thing to avoid in your ad copy is complex jargon. Industry acronyms are fine to use if they’re widely accepted, but if your specific industry has unique terminology, avoid it and replace it with a common term. Clarity and simple terminology are key.

4. Colour

The colours you select should be the same as your corporate colours (or your logo if you don’t have a colour palette selected), so that there is consistency with all of your marketing materials.

5. Fonts

The fonts used should be the same as those used in other collateral. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than 2 fonts – one for a headline and one for the body text, however, it’s a good practice to just use one font family, and vary it with bold, italics or size.

6. Logos

Although most advertisers think their logo is the most important thing in an ad, it’s not. The logo should be discreetly placed, so that it is visible but not overpowering.

7. Contact Information

Make it easy for readers to contact you by providing your email and telephone number. If possible, direct readers to a specific web page that relates to the industry you’re marketing to. This also gives you an opportunity to measure the opens on that page.

8. Professionalism

Finally, use the services of a professional graphic designer. Just because you have a nephew that knows how to use a design program does not mean that he has the skills required to design a professional ad that will generate business for you. Leave it to the pros, and you’ll reap the rewards in new business.

Whether you’re creating an ad, launching a new brand, designing a website, or creating an app, the above design principles always apply.