This article discusses roles of various advertising media, including text ads. The article concludes that text ads do have a role to play in businesses’ advertising campaigns, as cost-effective envoys.
Today, there are many ways to advertise businesses' products and services. The range is from plain and simple text ads in local classified directories, to exotic and sophisticated commercials on national television. Thanks to technological developments and tumbling technology prices, whole of this range is available now to just about any profitable business.
One result is confusion in many business advertisers’ minds over where best to invest their budgets. Another is tendency for them to be seduced by power of ‘rich’ media, like video and audio. Rich advertising media is, undoubtedly, powerful. Rich adverts produced by skilled practitioners with adequate budgets have capacity to influence our behaviour in extraordinary ways. On other hand, rich adverts produced by unskilled practitioners with low budgets have capacity to inflict extraordinary damage on products, brands and companies.
This said, we seem to be increasingly immune to rich adverts now, even to those that are produced imaginatively and well resourced. Television commercials that would have shocked, or beguiled, us into new behaviours ten years ago tend to have less impact these days. It takes an innovative advert to make us sit up and pay attention, and one that’s truly amazing to keep us interested. At this time, only two television commercials meet these criteria for author. One is Citroen car that turns into a dancing robot and other is ‘Gene Kelly’ advert for Volkswagen’s new Golf.
The average advertiser of small and medium-sized businesses cannot hope to compete with adverts like these. If they make brave attempts, they run significant commercial risk of producing advertisements that make their offers seem ridiculous or cheap by comparison.
Given technical advances, like those that put digital video editing and viral marketing techniques in hands of lay people, business advertisers must tread warily. Even if they can hire means to create rich, amusing adverts that captivate, inform and motivate, creation process can take a considerable time to complete. During this time, it is necessary to keep topic, message and story line of their adverts secret, to ensure desired impact on release.
So, what do we have so far? It seems that there is a bewildering array of advertising options these days. Exotic, rich media are intrinsically attractive to advertisers. All that motion and colour is so, so tempting. Yet, adverts using rich media must be resourced and managed properly if they are to be credible. This implies adequate amounts of skill, money, time and security.
In our modern world, it’s easy to overlook fact that there are other faster, cheaper and more secure ways to advertise, that require fewer skills to produce than video say. I won’t list all of them here, but it’s worth noting magazines, billboards and Internet in passing. These delivery media largely support static images, although they do offer power of colour. Text can be interspersed with images, drawback here being effort required of potential customers to read sales messages. In television and radio ads, sales messages are generally spoken.
Like television and radio, magazine, billboard and Internet adverts are built around emotive images. The associated text messages are vitally important, but customers’ eyes are attracted initially to images. Advertisers use powerful, arresting images to make potential customers stop what they are doing and pay attention. Then, supporting media like text interest them to point that they do something desirable as far as advertiser’s concerned, like telephone a call centre. The role of images is to stimulate, or agitate, potential customers to extent that they make contact with businesses and, thereby, satisfy some 'problem'.