Advertising – message to market match (part 4)

For this same reason we employ a vast variety of ads. If we are using twenty magazines we may use twenty separate ads. This because circulation’s overlap, and because a considerable percentage of people are attracted by each of several forms of approach. We wish to reach them all.

On a soap, for instance, the headline “Keep Clean” might attract a very small percentage. It is too commonplace. So might the headline, “No Animal Fat.” People may not care much about that. The headline, “It Floats” might prove interesting. But a headline referring to beauty or complexion might attract many times as many.

An automobile ad might refer in the headline to a good universal joint. It might fall flat, because so few buyers think of universal joints. The same ad with a headline, “The Sportiest Of Sport Bodies,” might out-pull the other fifty to one.

This is enough to suggest the importance of headlines. Anyone who keys ads will be amazed at the difference. The appeals we like best will rarely prove best, because we do not know enough people to average up their desires. So we learn on each line by experiment.

But back of all lie fixed principles. You are presenting an ad to millions. Among them is a percentage, small or large, whom you hope to interest. Go after that percentage and try to strike the chord that responds. If you are advertising corsets, men and children don’t interest you. If you are advertising cigars, you have no use for non-smokers. Razors won’t attract women, rouge will not interest men.

Don’t think that those millions will read your ads to find out if your product interests them. They will decide by a glance – by your headline or pictures. Address the people you seek, and them only.

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