In the world of advertising, the first and most important rule is to capture one’s attention. This is the basis for the age-old acronym AIDA, which is namely:
Attraction – Grabbing their attention from amidst the sea of clutter.
Interest – Drawing your audience to view/read/listen further.
Desire – Making them want/need/lust after your stuff.
Action – Where the wallet meets the business owner.
The chief problem? Many advertisers do not think hard enough about differentiating themselves from the hoi polloi. They just copy what everybody else does, modify the message and creative slightly, then stick it on to their ads, say a prayer, and hope that they will come and buy. Few bother about how their creative and messages will affect customer perceptions.
Let me cite a case in point. Lately, I have noticed this billboard placed outside Outram Park MRT en route to Pearl’s Centre.
Look closer and you will see that most of these posters are very literal and in-your-face. Headlines like “Room for Rent”, “Specialised in Restoration, Servicing and Repair of Watches….” and “Cheap Shop Space” scream at you. These advertisements look hastily and cheaply put together. Some come with handphone numbers that you can readily tear out.
While advertising here is virtually “free” except for the cost of paper and printing (you don’t have to pay LTA to stick your poster on), I wonder if it can pass the AIDA test. Will your advertisement stand out from the rest? More importantly, will it instil desire or more importantly confidence in those who see it?
Sometimes, the best things in life aren’t free.
Well, at least they don’t just stick them all over the place and we can see why below!