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Why So Many Ads Are So Bad

It’s a fact of life that advertisements are everywhere. But does that mean they have to be bad? 

From commercials on TV to billboards and social media ads, good ads are hard to come by. Some companies try to do too much, while others try to keep it too simple. Sometimes, there’s way too much to read on an ad, while others leave you with more questions than answers. A great ad should capture the attention of the intended audience and provide helpful information in a short period of time. Marketing, after all, is a form of art. So why doesn’t it always feel that way? 

They’re Too Sales-y

A hard concept to grasp for many executive-level decision makers is that sales is not the same as marketing. If an advertisement is too sales-heavy, it can come across as a car salesman who is bent on selling something solely for commission. Many buyers aren’t ready to buy something right away when they see an ad — instead, they need some time to learn about the product, think about how it can help them and then find the best price. This process can take days, weeks or even months to complete! 

Instead of shoving every bit of information down your viewers’ throats, good ads will creatively weave features, benefits and usage into a single video, image or promotion. This can also be paired with a strategic, multi-faceted approach, including branded content on Instagram, Google ads and targeted marketing, which build rapport with audiences and create consistent messaging. Many bad advertisements seem to lack creativity and instead focus on converting a sale right away. Bad advertising is impatient and desperate, rather than nuanced and strategic. 

They Don’t Know Their Audience

One of the key components of good ads is that they know who they’re trying to reach. This can manifest in a number of different ways: the platform the ad is on (TikTok, a billboard, the radio or Google), the language used, images or video used and a multitude of other factors. 

Bad ads often try to do too much and try to reach too many people at once. For example, putting together branded content on Instagram that is about hearing aids may not be the most effective way to reach the targeted demographic for hearing aids. Similarly, investing in a huge billboard that is displaying a sale for tractors in the middle of an urban metropolis probably won’t drive sales if the primary audience lives in rural areas. Don’t do something in a campaign just for the sake of doing it or because it’s trendy. Targeted marketing means meeting your audience where they’re at, using language they’re using and focusing on their primary concerns (rather than your sales).

They Have Unclear Goals

While many bad commercials find themselves being too sales-heavy as mentioned earlier, they can also fall victim to not being sales-y enough. If an ad or commercial is too vague, too out there, then they’ll leave audiences with more questions than answers. It’s all about striking a balance.

A great way to create a targeted marketing campaign that is engaging, creative and still drives action is to create a cohesive story throughout your commercials, videos, images and copy. Consistency is key for effective ads. Pairing this creative media with clear calls to action gives audiences a reason to do something, try something or learn more about something. They know to visit your website to take a product quiz, or to call your store to receive a free quote. Bad ads may find themselves without a cohesive story or consistent messaging, which can leave audiences confused. Getting ahead of this pitfall and collaborating with ad specialists, copywriters, video producers and strategists can help drive conversions for your brand. 

Made Rad Ads, Not Bad Ads

When it comes to good ads or bad ads, the key is knowing who your audience is, what they want and what you want them to do. Addressing these three components in a creative, engaging and clear way can completely change the way you think about your marketing efforts. 

You can also revamp your advertising campaigns when you partner with a strategic marketing agency, like us! At Bullseye Media, we know a thing or two about creating ads of all kinds. Our copywriters, video production team, graphic designers and ad specialists work as a single unit on every campaign, ensuring consistency and creativity to drive conversions for your brand. See the work we’ve done, and then reach out to us to create your next great ad.