I have talked a lot about building believability in your advertisement.
It is not impossible to do it. But it’s really really hard.
But there is another way to do it.
Well, it’s not creating believability, it’s more like borrowing it.
The process by which you do this is quite simple.They buy this publication—or they turn on their radio and television set—to keep in touch with the world around them; to learn what’s happening, and why it’s happening.
To be entertained or simply kept up to date
Now, when a person chooses a publication, he does so because he believes that that publication is telling him the truth.
He has faith in that publication. He believes in it.
And, as long as he has faith in that publication (as any space buyer can tell you) it remains an excellent medium for advertising—because some of his trust carries over from the editorial pages to the advertising pages.
He simply assumes that his publication wouldn’t carry the ad if it weren’t true.
And, on the other hand, when he loses faith in that publication, the effectiveness of its advertising just goes to pieces.
If he no longer believes in the publication, he won’t believe in the advertising it carries.
Here are 3 different ways you can borrow built up believability.
The first way to borrow believability.
Each publication has its own look. You have your copy. Your job is to merge both of them into a combination that will:
1. Allow the reader to enter into your ad with the least possible mental shifting of gears from “editorial” to “advertisement.”
2. Carry along the greatest possible amount of believability through every sentence of the ad.
The layout is important. A single change in format can add 50% to your readership, and your results.
So here are two examples. (these are pretty old ads btw) I found this ad from the book Ogilvy on advertising.
The second way to borrow believability.
Remember, this is a newspaper ad. So make your ad look like a news report rather than an ad.
Here is a really good example.
“SKIN SPECIALIST DEMONSTRATES HOW TO RINSE AWAY YOUR BLACKHEADS”
By Claire Hoffman New York, N.Y.—A leading doctor today showed an audience of men. women and skin troubled teenagers how to clean oily skin and shrink enlarged pores with an lO-minute home medical treatment he has perfected. . . .”
The news tone has been set by the opening phrases.
The entire remainder of the Ad has been given the atmosphere of a report rather than a sales story by these first few sentences.
The third way to borrow believability.
So the third way to borrow believability is to be simple and honest.
You do not need to be creative with your words.
Especially if you are writing a newspaper ad.
In other words, biased language and emotionally-charged language tend to produce a counter-reaction in its prospects by its very appearance.
So, to overcome this instant and automatic skepticism. Just be simple.
Here is a complete Volkswagen ad. which features one superiority of the car over competitive models.
Could, you have told the story as well, even if you used ten times as many words?
“You never run out of air.
You also won’t have to worry about draining or Hushing the radiator in spring.
There is no radiator.
Or a water pump.
And so there are no worries about anti-breeze in the fall or cracked blocks in the winter.
If you feel that you owe your Volkswagen engine a little something special every spring and fall, you can do this much.
Just run it once around the block and let it air itself out.”
Well, that’s it.
Being simple will cost you significantly less money if you are writing an Ad for a newspaper.
This example is a little different but it still follows the rule of being simple.
“TO THE MAN WHO WILL SETTLE FOR NOTHING LESS THAN THE PRESIDENCY OF HIS FIRM”
And who is willing to make the incredible sacrifices necessary to get there in the shortest possible time.
Here is the most realistic handbook ever written for you—and you alone.
This is a private advertisement. It is not meant for ninety-nine men out of every hundred.
These men do not have the drive—the impossible pride—the absolute compulsion to succeed that this advertisement demands . . .
You can see immediately, in the first few paragraphs of this ad, how the tone of utter frankness is set.