It’s Superbowl Sunday. Your family sits in front of the television, filled with snacks and brimming with anticipation for the big game, the halftime show, and – perhaps more than anything – the commercials.
But which commercials will you remember on Monday? Which ads will you discuss with friends at work or school? The deeply informative advertisement that clearly describes its product and why you need it? Or the goofball explosion of sight and sound that features recognizable actors and an avalanche of jokes and catch-phrases?
Make ‘Em Laugh
That was a rhetorical question. Of course people will discuss the funny ads over a dry information dump. If the goal of an advertisement is to raise public awareness, you can’t do any better than to give audiences something that will appeal to them emotionally and get stuck in their head. You want your product to feel like fun, not like work.
Finding a Balance
This is the hard part. Public awareness isn’t worth much if people don’t even associate your ad with your product. There’s nothing wrong with coloring outside the lines subject-wise. Go as wild with it as you wish! But you don’t want to get so abstract that you leave your product behind completely. You have to find the right balance between the two extremes.
So start with one and work backward. Think of your ad as a cold presentation of fact. Get it all on the page, as dry and boring as possible. Now try to cut that information down to its most extreme essence. Once you do, merge it with a fun concept that communicates your idea in the easiest way you can. Maybe it’s just your name. Put it into an earworm that gets stuck in people’s heads. Make it a catchphrase. Prioritize memorization over total comprehension. You only need partial understanding; the rest should come later.
This of course is much easier said than done. It’s no small thing to break everything you offer down to a couple of words. And it’s even harder to communicate them in a way people enjoy. Just remember to have fun. Let that maxim guide you. If you’re not having a good time, neither will your audience.
Remember, no one likes commercials, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come up with a commercial people like.