What Makes a Great Ad?

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Quick – think about the last great advertisement you have seen. Maybe it was on the side of a bus, the radio, television, or the Internet. Now, consider the essential elements that make an advertisement great. It might be harder than you think to come up with a formula for greatness. Recently, the researchers at Nielsen examined their TV Brand Effect database of more than 250,000 TV ads in an effort to understand what truly makes an ad or brand memorable.

  1. Storytelling: Great ads tell us a good story.
  2. Simplicity: A well-told, simple story is one we can easily remember.
  3. Relatable situations: Ads that show us characters who act or look like us are more effective.
  4. Humor: Humor lifts peoples’ spirits and contributes to memorable ads.
  5. Branding: Great ads convey a strong, consistent brand.

Go back to the ad you thought was great and see if it meets these criteria.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Read the article at: http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/newswire/2014/effective-advertising-more-than-a-creative-black-box.html
  2. Divide students into groups. Have each group list at least five ads that they think are great, and five ads that are not great.
  3. Next, review the five key elements to a good ad. Have students examine the ads and compare to the list.
  4. Finally, have students choose one of the poor ads and redesign the ad to become stronger.

Source:   Nielsen Research

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