Not surprisingly, those who did not experience the early, freewheeling days of the net frequently find it difficult to write effective ads for application on the web. The spontaneous sense of playfulness, the undeniable urge to hack, the use of geekish yet incredibly expressive vocabulary and the all-too-easily identifiable leaning toward the grungy side (a symptom typical of both the true hacker and the wannabe) come together in a way that profoundly challenges, if it does not utterly defeat , the newcomer to the net game. I've jotted down a few observations concerning the items that I think are requisite to putting together an effective e-ad; I hope that the following will be of some interest and value to you.
·The ad must be short and pack a punch. A creative ad consisting of about fifteen to twenty words can be a good deal more effective than an ad twice or three times the above length. Browsers (the human kind) have to be caught on the fly and they tend to ignore lengthy text. A recent study suggests that sixty-plus percent of all ads placed at web sites fail to connect with the short attention spans of the cyber visitors and are, consequently, effectively ignored.
·The ad caption must be compelling. Intriguing word play and smart phraseology can be combined to ensure that the reader's attention is sufficiently captured. Try to work in words and concepts that are current on the net; just don't overplay the here-and-now hand. It wouldn't hurt to highlight both the present and future value of the target product; a professional copywriter can be immensely valuable in this regard.
·The ad must provoke the reader to take action or reach a decision that will result in a happy ending. The idea of speedy gratification must be invoked.
·The message must be seamless; that is, the hard sell must not be too overt. The "hook" must be an integral part of the message but never painfully so. The first law of advertising must be observed: Make certain that the bottom line is reserved strictly for the product; the ad's only reason for being is to showcase the product. The ad must ask for the sale- but never in a boorish manner.
·The appeal must be pitched to emotion as much as to reason. The "reason factor" is always there to give the consumer grounds to conclude that he or she reached the decision to purchase based solely on logic.
·While the use of imaginative graphics may be desirable in terms of visual attraction, great care must be taken not to become too cutesy in terms of format.
·The ad must exploit the electronic medium; it should be readily distinguishable from a print or television ad. E-ads which are evocative of the "hanging out", informal, sometimes-grungy side of the original web are going to have an impact. Formal, polished, Madison Ave.-style ads are to be avoided like the plague.
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