When I write an advertisement, I do not want you to tell me that you find it creative. I want you to find it so interesting that you want to buy the product’ David Ogilvy, an advertising executive in the 60’s whose contribution is as relevant now as it was then.

Ads have lately seemed to be like a battle of the wits, ‘let’s see who’s more creative than the other’. Companies, more often than not seem to forget the main point of advertising is selling.

Yankelovich (a market research company based in the US) estimated that on average, a person is bombarded with 5,000 ads a day, as at 2014. It is quite obvious that advertisements are a way of getting your products out to the public, a chance to persuade prospective consumers to purchase a product or service. How will they remember your advertisement of the average of 5,000 that they come across in a day? As much as ads are a matter of trial and error and that there is a grey area when it comes to advertisements in a way that some annoying advertisements have had a positive effect on sales, there are several underlying principles behind every effective and memorable ads.

1. Simplify your message

The major role that an ad plays is to inform. Keep it simple and clear to what the consumer wants to know and how will your product make their life better? To make this possible, just get to what your consumers would want to know and delete the rest. A simple, straight to the point message is very effective.

2. Create ads that spark emotion

Fear, anger, happiness, sadness, disgust and surprise are emotions that ads should ensure to capture. Ads that have capitalized on creating an emotional appeal tend to touch the heart in comparison to ads that are primarily entertaining that amuse and dazzle. Capturing the consumer’s heart through getting into their emotions will most definitely leave a huge impact and make an ad more memorable.

3. Integrate high quality visual content

Visual content is processed faster in the brain in comparison to plain words. Advertising material such as posters and info graphics when creatively and simply made and displayed online can go viral and boost branding and direct business your way. In addition, visual content have an element of influencing emotions using different colors to influence purchasing decisions.

4. Convey the message to the right target audience

To be relevant, one needs to study their consumers. Get to know how they think and what they need.

Ignoring these two questions is shooting yourself in the foot. Great adverts have purposed to get into their customers head hence getting them at their ‘weak’ points through mind blowing, creative, timely and relevant ads.

This will influence the time of day one places their ad, the colors to choose, whether they will pick male or female characters and what venue to choose while advertising, among others.

5. Use testimonials

Whenever possible, use testimonials as a leverage as to why potential consumers should consider consuming your products. Most ad companies use celebrities to endorse their products, whereas others build a brand with a consistent character. Either way, make it in such a way that the consumer will believe that the character is who they are as a result of using your products.

6. Consistent message for the brand

An ad is considered effective if the message can be directly linked to the brand. This is possible by;

Defining the differentiating factor between your product and competitor’s product. Define your value proposition and capitalize on it in your advertisements.

Try to be consistent on the different advertising platforms, be it digital screens, Facebook, twitter and the likes, consumers should connect the advert and the brand because of its consistency. Coca cola have done a good job at being consistent in advertising throughout the different counties they offer their products to.

7. Give irresistible offers

Ensure that you give an irresistible offer with a reason as to why you are doing it. There is a thin line between giving a great offer and sending a message of ‘it is too good to be true’ subsequently scaring away the very people you intend to attract. A reason like ‘clearing sale’ or ‘trial price’ tend to resonate well with consumers, making them think that they are getting a good deal without making them apprehensive.

All in all, have a great story line for your ad. Whenever consumers need to be convinced, a story does a good work at that. First, get an idea that is controlling, select memorable characters that your target audience relates to. In addition to the above points, whenever possible, offer an irresistible deal and create a sense of urgency to make the product ‘scarce (the webpage on scarcity). Incorporating these two: a great story line and a sense of urgency create a memorable and effective advert respectively.

It is of great importance that companies try as much as possible to keep the end goal in mind while creating an ad. To remember that at the end of the day, the ad should attract more customers while retaining existing ones, resulting into growth. Such ads emotionally engage the masses to have a memorable and effective impact.

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