It may come as a bit of a shock, but by and large most surveys in the UK and the USA show that more people generally dislike adverts than like them.
But that is the truth, and it explains why people avoid adverts on TV by downloading or recording programmes and fast forwarding through the breaks. It also explains why people use ad blockers on their computers and sit with their finger on the delete button when reading through incoming emails.
Indeed a recent survey conducted by YouGov shows that while 28% of people dislike advertising a lot, only 5% like it a lot.
But now if you think, “how could anyone like advertising a lot?” then it is time to pause, because part of the job of anyone who is interested in communicating with customers is to get the recipient of the advert to like their adverts. Only then can you get them to like the product or service enough to go on and buy it.
Generally people aged 30 to 44 have the most positive outlook towards advertising, while those aged 65 or over have the least positive view (quite possibly because most advertising in its style and content is geared to younger people and is about a lifestyle that is irrelevant to most people aged 65+).
However “likeability” doesn’t automatically mean that an advert is effective. An advert has to be at the very least not disliked in order to be effective.
But most certainly the reverse is true – if people dislike your advert then that advert is very likely to be ineffective.
And that leads us to the problem…
Various research programmes have suggested that most people perceive themselves not to be influenced by advertising. They take the view that “some people” might be so influenced, but not them.
Indeed this vision often holds sway among many people who write or place advertising for their companies as part of their general duties.
However this can lead to difficulties, for in essence one is saying, “I’m not influenced by any advertising but my customers are.” This vision differentiates oneself from one’s audience, and that can make it quite hard to create an advert that the audience will respond to.
This doesn’t mean that people who run their own companies can’t also write adverts for their company, but if they hold the view that “I’m never influenced by adverts,” it does become quite hard to write adverts that will influence others.
Fortunately there is a way around this.
First, read all the advertising that you come across in the medium you want to use. If you are looking to advertise via email, turn off any blocking software you have and read your incoming emails.
Read them even if they are selling brushed steel from China and you publish software that will be of interest to biology teachers. Just for a few days, read all the adverts.
And in doing this, focus on how each is written, what it says, how it takes the message forward.
Keep doing this until you can collect half a dozen emails that you think, “Yes, I can see how this works and how it might pull some people towards making a purchase.” And then consider what it is that all of these adverts have in common.
Of course, what you can also do is talk to the awfully nice people at Schools.co.uk, not only about writing adverts but also about building lists and developing websites and blogs that will gain larger audiences.
You can call us on 01604 880 927 or email Stephen@schools.co.uk. And if you wonder why I don’t say call me or email me, it’s because I’m spending all my time reading emails. But Steve does pass the emails seeking ideas about writing emails, over to me.
And I do reply.