Should You Write A Long Copy Ad Or Keep It Short

Should You Write A Long Copy Ad Or Keep It Short

Okay, you’re ready to​ write the ad of​ a​ lifetime. The one that will pull like crazy and leave them begging for your product like Somalians for food. So, do you whet their appetite with a​ short and sweet ad? or​ write a​ long-copy ad that’s stuffed with information?

The 80-20 rule says 80% of​ the people only read the headline (and maybe a​ caption, if​ you have one). But the fact is, readers will read a​ long-copy ad. One McGraw-Hill study looked at​ 3,597 ads in​ 26 business magazines. What they discovered was that ads with 300 or​ more words were more effective that shorter ads in​ creating product awareness, inducing action and reinforcing the decision to​ buy. Another ad for Merrill Lynch crammed 6, 450 words into a​ single New York Times page. it​ pulled over 10,000 responses—even without a​ coupon! The truth is, the reason people read ads has nothing to​ do with copy length.

“Nobody reads long ads…” and other urban ad legends

People shun too many of​ today’s ads—long or​ short—because several misleading myths have stubbornly remained with us. Things like “negative headlines are a​ downer since people want to​ feel good when reading your ad.” or​ “show the product or​ they’ll never know what you’re selling.” Then there’s the stuffy axiom, “there’s no place for humor in​ business advertising. “ or​ the ubiquitous saw, “all your ads should look the same, blend in​ or​ be swallowed up.” The list goes on and on. Presented with unabashed hubris by the high priests of​ advertising. The basic fact is, ads really fail for three reasons.

Your ads are all about you

You’re telling customers what you want to​ hear, not what they want to​ know. Impressive sounding features are fine to​ motivate your sales force, but your customer is​ only interested in​ one thing: “What’s in​ it​ for me?” This offense is​ particularly egregious in​ business-to-business advertising, which is​ infamous for its addiction to​ phrases like “the XP90 does it​ all” or​ “now with Duo-Pentium Processor”—without a​ hint of​ what these features do. Also contaminating many of​ today’s ads are such chest-pounding headlines as​ “Taking the lead,” “The promise of​ tomorrow, today,” or​ “A tradition of​ quality.” They sound good but say nothing.

Your ads are boring

You’ve got to​ break the boredom barrier—big time. Many ad gurus say blend in, be one of​ the pack and survive. No wonder so many ads look alike, proudly showing big pictures of​ their products, or​ worse yet, featuring a​ giant photo of​ the company’s CEO—usually with a​ caption that’s been scrubbed clean of​ originality or​ compelling information. if​ you want people to​ stop and read your ad, you have to​ make the ad more interesting than the editorials in​ the publication you’re in. Give them real news, a​ fresh new way to​ look at​ what you’re offering them. Stand out from the crowd. Start trends, don’t follow them. One of​ the most interesting car ads I ever saw showed the car only sparingly; instead, it​ featured an​ animation of​ a​ human heart beating furiously to​ the soundtrack of​ an​ accelerating engine. Breakthrough stuff.

Your ads don’t make human contact

They’re not reaching readers on an​ emotional level. We all want to​ be liked, appreciated and loved. We want to​ feel secure in​ our lives and our jobs. So be a​ mensch. Create ads that touch the soul. Use an​ emotional appeal in​ your visual, headline and copy. Don’t just show a​ car on the road; show the guy captivating his sweetheart with the car. if​ your buyers were on the moon, would they care about your car’s styling? No. They’d get an​ ugly, crawly vehicle that got them from crater to​ crater. Selling computers to​ business? Show the guy getting a​ raise or​ promotion for selecting your latest model. You’re selling the emotional end result, the human need-based bottom line, not a​ box, or​ vehicle with four wheels and an​ engine.

So if​ you’re struggling with the notion of​ whether to​ write a​ long- or​ short-copy ad, you can do both and still get results. The key is​ not length or​ lack of​ it, but information, interest and involvement in​ your customer’s needs. These are the ingredients to​ creating a​ successful ad.

Should You Write A Long Copy Ad Or Keep It Short

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