How to Evaluate an Advertisement
An effective advertisement tells your company’s story in a way that makes the reader want to take action. Creating a productive ad takes careful planning, as you must find a way to stand out from your competition while developing an honest and interesting message that resonates with the reader. The best time to evaluate your ad is after you’ve created a rough draft so you can make changes before it goes to print.
Determine whether the ad’s headline attracts the reader’s attention. The headline should focus on a problem or challenge the target market faces, or mention one of the main benefits the product or service offers. The headline may also be used to make an announcement, which is especially useful if you’re introducing a new product or service. Use a 14-point-or-larger font size for the headline so it stands out among the other ads on the page.
Identify that special detail that tells people how the product, service or company mentioned in the ad differs from the competition. If you offer the lowest pricing, your ad should mention it. If you offer higher quality or more choices, the ad needs to explain how your company achieves this. Part of differentiating your company from others means using your brand to build familiarity, so make sure your logo, company name and tagline appear in the ad.
Read the body copy below the headline to determine if it answers the questions or provides the information promised in the headline. The copy needs to cover the main facts and mention pertinent benefits that help convince the reader to want to learn more about the offering. If you’re selling feature-rich products, the ad should mention a few that your target market needs to know about to get their attention.
Hold the ad at arm’s length to determine if it looks crowded or too sparse. An ad with too much white space or that looks crowded may get ignored. A balanced ad with the proper amount of graphics, copy and blank space attracts readers because it’s easy on the eyes. The headline should be readable at arm’s length, but the rest of the copy can be smaller.
Find the call to action and the contact information for the company. The call to action should ask the reader to call or email your company for more information, visit a website or stop by a store.
Track the results of the ad by asking new customers how they heard about your company. If you want people to visit your website, send them to a special page you can track through your website traffic reports to determine how many people are coming because of the ad.
Use short paragraphs below the headline so the advertising copy is easy to read.
Don’t change your ad after it runs one time. Your ad may need to run multiple times before you start seeing results. Readers will want to feel familiar with your company before taking the next step, so seeing the ad several times helps them become more trusting of your brand and message.