Copy Critique Of A Newspaper Ad
First, a sincere apology for ignoring you. It was not intentional, and I have been thinking about YOU ever day.
I have been working on a project that has taken a great deal of my time. I am close to finishing, and I promise to be here giving you my undivided attention!
This newspaper ad, which ran in the Palm Beach Post, which I read regularly, caught my attention. It did so because I thought it was a well written ad, and that is extremely rare these days.
Let’s be honest. Most newspaper ads stink!
They do. Hey, I call em like I see em, and it has been a very long time since an ad caught my eye. And that’s why we should talk about it.
Lets take a look at the ad:
What is your first impression of this ad? Do you think it would catch your attention if you were reading your local newspaper?
Okay, let me share with you what I think they did right with this ad (and why), and what I think they did wrong (and why). Yes, while I really like the ad, I still think they make at least one mistake.
The best place to start is at the top with the headline. Remember, the job of the headline is to get our attention, so we will read the first sentence.
Did this headline do the job? You better believe it did! In fact, it did a great job. There’s a curiosity factor in this headline that makes you want to read more. I want to know if this person is crazy, and why. Maybe I’m crazy too?
The first sentence also does its job, and makes you want to read the rest of the first paragraph. There’s also an offer in this first paragraph, which I like. It happens to be a good offer.
You get the Amazing $189 super -tune – up for only $89.
But the best part of that first paragraph is it also has a sense of urgency. Be one of the first 25 to respond and you receive a FREE digital thermostat, which they will install… for FREE.
So right away you have two great offers, there’s a sense of urgency, which you might even say is a call to action. There’s certainly enough in the first paragraph to make you want to read the next paragraph.
And without wasting any time they dive right in with a lifetime warranty on the free thermostat. And just when you think it can’t get any better they deliver what I think is the knockout punch!
They offer a guarantee on their tune-up! I see dozens of air conditioning company ads, and I can tell you there is nobody else is making an offer that comes anywhere close to this.
In my opinion, this is what I call a “Godfather Offer”, meaning it’s too good to pass up. You can’t say “no” to the Godfather, and you really can’t say no to this offer.
So the second paragraph is followed up with a “call to action”, which I think was placed perfectly in the ad. Another plus is the picture of the owner. Studies have shown over and over again having a picture in your ad will improve response rates.
Also, and this is really important, he answers the question in his headline. More times than not, when I see a question type headline it is almost never answered.
Also, it is worth pointing out that there is a danger in using question type headlines. In fact, some big time Copywriters will tell you they never use a question for a headline, as if it breaks a cardinal rule in copywriting.
I disagree… Especially when you see the question gets answered, and when the question is able to grab attention and get you to read the first sentence.
So far so good. I love everything about this ad up to this point. But here’s where I think they make their mistakes.
First, look at the bottom of the ad. Another offer, but this time for a water heater flush. I’m not sure if, or how much this will hurt his response. Maybe it won’t matter.
But I never like to see someone do a great job with an offer, only to then throw in another offer for something totally unrelated.
In my opinion it takes away from the main offer in the ad. Also, there’s really no offer for this water heater flush, no call to action… it simply does not belong in this ad.
Sadly, I see this type of thing often. It’s almost like whoever wrote the ad thought to themselves at the end, wait… let me throw in one more thing…
That space is should have been used to reinforce the call to action, the guarantee, the great offer, making his domain name and telephone numbers bigger… anything but adding something that does not belong, and distracts the reader.
It might even cause someone to question the main offer. Wait a second, is he a plumber or an AC company? You never want to do anything that might even remotely confuse the reader. A confused reader does nothing.
The Big Test…
While I really do like this ad, it still hasn’t passed what I consider to be the Big Test. What Big Test you ask? It’s the “follow through test”, or “follow up test”.
What I mean is, how many calls did Don get as a result of this ad? Probably not many. I say that because I read this newspaper every day, and this is the first time I have seen this ad, or any ad from Don’s company.
Running print ads is a lot harder these days then it was in years past. Readership is down significantly with just about every newspaper. We know that’s because most of those readers are now reading on the web. The Internet has taken away a lot of those eyeballs that used to read print newspapers.
Hmm, I guess that makes me a bit of a dinosour. But my point is, if Don is going to have success with this ad, he is going to need to run it consistently over time.
In fact, this is one of the biggest mistakes business owners make. They run one ad, or send one direct mail piece and expect people to come stampeding into their business. And when they don’t, the blame the ad or the direct mail piece, and most just give up.
It just doesn’t work like that. The readers of this newspaper will need to see this ad many times before most will take any action. So we’ll have to wait and see if Don passes the Big Test.
I’m pulling for you, Don. I really am. I rarely see a print ad that I really like any more, so when I do I want to root for the business owner. Come on Don, don’t let us down!
So what do you think? Do you agree with me, or disagree? I want to know.
By the way, if Don Miranda happens to read this, I’d like to congratulate him on doing a great job… so far!
In fact, Don as a way to show my appreciation for a job well done I’d like to offer you a FREE copy of my book, “Internet Marketing Lies – Busting The Big Myths That Are Holding Your Business Hostage To Bigger Profits Online & Offline”
And because I was so impressed, and that so rarely happens, I will take it a step further and offer to deliver my book in person, over lunch (I’m buying) where you can ask me anything you want about marketing your business online or offline.
So, you get my book for FREE, I will personally drive up to Port St. Lucie to deliver it, and I will buy you lunch, and you can ask me anything you’d like about marketing your business online or offline… all for FREE!
Perhaps you are thinking to yourself, “Jay, you’re nuts. It will be impossible for Don Miranda to even know about your post, which means he will never see your offer”.
That would be true, except I am going to make sure he does know about it. That gives him every opportunity to take me up on my offer.
That’s all for now, see you soon! Don’t forget to let me know what you think of Don’s ad.