6 Elements Of Advertising: The Formula For Creating Winning Ads

Almost all businesses create ads. But not all of them achieve the desired outcome. Why? It’s probably because these ads are missing the critical elements of advertising. These are elements that determine if an ad is a hit or miss. They are the elements that ensure that your ad connects with the right audience and drives action. So, what are these mystery elements of advertising? We’ll get to them in a minute. 

But first, let’s tackle some of the basic questions about advertising. Should even small businesses with a tight budget spend on advertising? Are advertising and marketing one and the same? Let’s find out. 

5 main reasons why even small businesses should spend on ads

1. Let people know that your business exists 

Sometimes the only reason people don’t shop from your business is that they do not know that your business exists. Advertising is one way to avoid this. Advertising helps create awareness about your business and to let people know that you are open for business. 

2. Bring more traffic to your website 

Studies show that paid search brings about 15% of the average traffic to a business website. Advertising is one of the most important steps in bringing new people to your website. Even a well-established business with a large customer base still needs to work on acquiring new customers and steadily increasing the website traffic in order to keep up. 

3. Increase your business revenue 

A well-drafted advertisement can convince people to shop from your brand. Advertisements are essential in placing prospects in your sales funnel and helping them progress in their journey and make the sale happen. In short, advertising is critical in boosting your business revenue. 

For example, the Nike ad featuring Colin Kaepernick grabbed a lot of media coverage for the brand. And it also increased the brand’s earnings by $6 billion

Similarly, with the right targeting and a clear idea, ads help boost the business’s revenue.  

4. Competitive advantage 

In a sea of competition, if you want customers to consider your brand and keep coming back to your brand, you need to stay on top of their minds at all times. Out of sight, out of mind. Advertising ensures that this does not happen and that your brand always stays in their memory. 

5. Scale new heights, and markets 

How do brands existing in one country manage to sell to people from different parts of the world? Advertising! As we mentioned earlier in this section, advertising helps you introduce your brand to your target audience. And this is particularly handy when you have to expand your business and scale new markets. 

In such cases, there are other local businesses that already have a strong presence. Advertising is what helps you shine amidst this. 

These are just a handful of ways in which advertising helps a business grow. To tap into these and all other benefits of advertising, you need to know and incorporate all the essential elements of advertising. Before we talk about them, let’s clarify the common myth – advertising and marketing are not one and the same. 

Advertising is not marketing 

Sometimes when you talk to people about the elements of advertising, you are likely to hear about the components that make up a good marketing strategy. This can be due to the misconception that advertising and marketing are the same thing. The truth, however, is something else. 

The simplest way to define the difference will be that advertising is a subset of marketing. Or, it is just a small component of the whole. 

Another way to explain the difference would be that advertising focuses primarily on promoting a particular product/service or product line or even specific features or aspects of the product/service.  

Marketing, on the other hand, focuses on the bigger picture. In addition to promoting the products/services it also includes customer engagement, communication, and other aspects that help shape the brand image in the long run. 

Having clarified the difference, let’s get to the topic of the day – the essential elements of advertising. 

6 pivotal elements of advertising – the recipe for the perfect ad 

Every ad needs a set of ingredients to make the ad feel complete and to make the ad work as intended. The proportion in which these ingredients are added, the way they are incorporated, and the format in which they are used all depend on the ad format and ad placement. But the fact remains that all types of ads designed for all types of platforms need to have these ingredients in order to achieve the desired results. 

1. An accurate understanding of the target audience 

In the above ad, can you tell that the target audiences are women rugby players? How did you guess that? The featured model and the copy together conveyed the idea. And all this happened even without knowing about the brand that is advertising. Crafting such clear and easy-to-understand ads is possible only when you clearly define who the target audiences are. 

Your brand might be targeting diverse demographics of people. But not all your products might be relevant to all these demographics. 

For example, take the case of a fashion brand selling clothes for men, women, and children. The brand might therefore have different ads targeting men advertising the men’s collection, targeting women advertising the women’s collection, and some kid-friendly themes in ads promoting the kids’ collection. 

Similarly, global brands might have different strategies to advertise to consumers in different locations.  

Take a look at the below videos for example. The first one shows a Subway ad targeting US customers and the second one targets the Indian market.

From the mood of the ad to the idea advertised and the way of execution, everything is optimized for the audience the ad targets. This is possible only when you clearly establish the target audience for the ad. 

Additionally, you also need this information to accurately position your ad so that you reach the right people at the right time. 

2. Visual elements for memorability 

How many times have you thought of an ad when you had to recall a brand? This could be a billboard ad you saw while returning from work or a TV commercial or even that annoying YouTube ad that interrupted your video. No matter what, you recall visual cues to recall a brand. 

All brands know this and so they create static images and videos to advertise their products. But you don’t need just ordinary graphics. You need visually appealing out-of-the-box designs that make your ad memorable. 

Did you notice the headphones beautifully represented in the negative space in the above design? Compare this with a simple ad that features a man wearing headphones. Which one are you more likely to remember? Creative ones like the above JBL ad, right? 

Ads that visually stimulate your audience make an emotional connection and therefore stay in their mind for longer. So, creative visuals are some of the most important elements of advertising. 

Kimp Tip: The same idea can be communicated in so many creative ways when you creatively manipulate various graphic design principles

The JBL ad we discussed utilized negative space to stimulate and engage the audience. Similarly, you can use visual metaphors to communicate the message instead of directly presenting the idea. Or you can play with the alignment of design elements or their proportions to tweak perspectives. 

Want to experiment with such creative visual ideas? Sign up for a Kimp subscription. 

3. Copy that delivers the message 

In every ad, copy and design go hand in hand. Whether it is a print ad or a digital static ad or a video ad, you need to achieve the perfect balance between copy and visuals. 

The man riding a motorcycle takes a new perspective the moment you read the copy in the above ad. It helps you visualize the view, the emotions, and the overall experience of the rider. 

In addition to what you see, your brain also tries to place you in the ad, in the featured scene all thanks to the copy. It is the copy that perhaps makes you curious to know what is being advertised and the brand that’s advertising it. And when this happens, the ad is a success. Because the ad managed to interact with its viewers and imprint the brand in the minds of the viewers. 

In conclusion, great copy is one of the unmissable elements of advertising. But yes, your copy and design should work together in communicating the core message. Pay attention to the tone of the copy and ensure that it matches the tone of the visuals as well. 

4. Brand elements 

Getting an ad to work is the first step. But the other most important step is getting the ad to work in favor of your brand. Even the most brilliantly crafted ad will not bring significant difference to a brand if it does not incorporate suitable branding elements in it. 

The above ad from Target shows the strength of using branding elements in advertising. From the strong use of the brand color, red, throughout the video, to the logo appearing in the intro and the well-recognized brand tagline in the outro, several elements are incorporated to remind users of the brand. Without them, this would have been just another ad celebrating the holiday cheer. 

Similarly, when you create an ad, ensure that you use brand elements that your customers instantly recognize and connect with. Use social listening to understand what elements share a strong bond with your customers. It could be your brand logo or your unique brand color palette, or sometimes the signature brand font you use across all your marketing designs. 

So, without a doubt, your brand elements hold a special place in the list of the most important elements of advertising. 

Kimp Tip: The consistent use of your brand elements in your ad has multiple benefits besides helping customers recognize your brand from the ad. One of the other benefits is establishing a connection between all your advertising collateral. You can get all your advertising designs to work in unison toward achieving the common objective of your campaign. 

Banner design by Kimp 

Wondering how to create ads that look coherent across multiple platforms? Choose a comprehensive design service, like Kimp, and the same team works on all your designs. 

5. A hard-to-ignore value proposition 

You might have a great product to sell, probably the best in the industry. But why should a customer buy it? To answer this question your ad should convey what is there in it for your customer. In other words, your ad should clearly define the value proposition. A lot depends on laying down the USP (unique selling point) of the product and finding how this makes a difference to the target audience. 

The idea of adding a value proposition as one of the main elements of advertising comes from the idea that a successful business identifies a problem and proposes a solution to it.

Take the below ad from Popeyes for example. The ad smartly uses delicious visual cues to make people hungry, as a good food ad should. But additionally, it immediately gets to the value created – the specialty of slow cooking and the irresistible deals. 

Similarly, your ad should instantly clarify the kind of benefit a customer gets from the advertised product or service, or feature. In other words, it should give a clear reason for the customer to react to the act or to buy the advertised product. 

6. A clear and easy-to-follow call-to-action

Once you have presented the value proposition you should also tell customers the next steps to take. Otherwise, the ad will just leave a message that is sometimes forgotten. 

Call-to-action or CTA can come in the form of a quick line spoken in a video ad or a prominent button placed on a static ad. Either way, the purpose of the call-to-action is simple – to drive action. 

CTA is one of the vital elements of advertising because it helps establish a direction in the sales funnel. To identify the suitable CTA for the ad, you should know the target audience, the value the ad creates, and the position where the ad fits into the sales funnel. 

CTAs can range from a simple call to subscribe to the brand’s Youtube channel to a call to sign up for the brand’s newsletter. In fact, with digital advertising getting more prominence, businesses are coming up with more and more sophisticated calls to action. 

For example, consider ads that come with a QR code. In this case, the action the customer is expected to take is to scan the QR code with a smartphone. The steps that come after that depend on the product being advertised and the campaign objectives. 

Flyer design by Kimp 

Without a CTA, customers are left in the dark as to what they should do next to interact with the brand. So, an ad should have a clearly defined CTA without which the conversion rates are not going to be that good. 

Simplify design for advertising wth Kimp 

As you can see, there are various elements of advertising that ensure that an ad acts as a bridge between a brand and its customers. For all of these elements to work together, good design often acts as the binding agent. And for this design, be it static images or motion graphics, professional designers can simplify the execution of your ideas. So, sign up for a Kimp subscription and create ads that convert. 

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