What makes a good ad?


January 13, 2012

After a lengthy internal debate I have finally given in after years of staying strong. I have joined the Apple bandwagon. I bought my first iPhone.

Is it everything I had hoped and dreamed of? Well, yes to be completely honest, but I must ask myself why I ultimately bought “the iPhone.” Is it the phone of all phones, does it do so many other things that other Smartphones cannot? Some would answer yes, but I would refute that several other Smartphones on the market rival all the innovative capabilities that Apple can cram into their costly little gadget, and at a much more competitive price.

At the end of the day it all comes down to advertising. You can have two or two hundred products that all do the same thing, so how do you stand out? What is it that makes a good ad?

We’ve all heard that sex sells and you can’t go wrong with cute kids or loveable dogs, but a good ad must have much more than this. A good ad must be entertaining, charming, compelling, and eye-catching, but most importantly a good ad must be memorable.

Most sources quote that the average American is exposed to more than 3,000 ads per day, while some sources quote up to 5,000 ads per day! From TV to print, and radio to Internet, this kind of perpetual bombardment is more than enough to turn any American into an overexposed and oblivious processor of information. It is a wonder how any of these ads actually stand out in a seemingly endless sea of persuasive marketing messages. Yet some ads manage to do much more than just get through to people, some ads turn the absolute biggest skeptic (me) into a believer, and more significantly for Apple, a buyer.

I can honestly say that I remember Apple’s very first ad for their new product, which is remarkable in and of itself. The 2007 commercial that aired during the Oscars featured an array of celebrities from decades past and present answering their phones, and at the very end of the ad the iPhone was shown for a few seconds. As I am sure that most of you remember this, I am also sure that this commercial and those iPhone ads to come always left you feeling the same way I did, curious, engaged, and intrigued.

So as I sit here, five years after the release of the iPhone, asking Siri where I can get the best Mexican food in Salt Lake City, I can’t help but feel the same intrigue and closeness every time I pick up my phone.

While other revolutionary phones to come could pick my outfits in the morning, start my breakfast, and warm up my car, I wouldn’t trade my iPhone and the reason is so simple. No other product out there has inspired me, held my interest, gained my trust, or made me feel so connected. Through a series of ads, Apple has managed to build and maintain a relationship with me, and I’m hooked.