The Three Rules of Advertising

Consciousness: true selfishness

By Bob Martin

Bob Martin’s career has spanned almost 40 years of media, marketing and ad agencies, including 19 years as Manager of STI Creative. He’s kindly offered to provide us with weekly articles on advertising for the small to medium size business. I’m pleased to welcome him to Thinking Big Works.

Yes, it’s Monday and Bob’s posts will show up on Thursdays. So look for a bonus this week – two posts instead of one.

David VanAmburg

The Three Rules of Advertising

Over three decades ago , I was privileged to work for one of the single greatest sales and advertising geniuses in the United States and Canada; David “Giff” Gifford. Giff told me the “Three Rules of Advertising”.

The principal is easy. If you follow the “Three Rules of Advertising”, you will have a successful advertising campaign every time whether it’s radio, print, TV… any media.

Rule One: What you say and how many times you say it. What does this mean? It means make sure you have something important to say in your ad. Your ad needs to capture the attention of your target audience. We’ll talk more about this is another column. Next, make sure that your message is seen / heard enough times for the message to “sink in”. There is this mystical number called a “reach and frequency”. The whole purpose of this is to make sure that your target audience sees your message 3.4 to 3.7 times in a selected time frame. It works!

Rule Two: The next rule is even more specific. It is a perfect and logical follow-up to Rule One. Remember, you must follow all three rules for success. What is Rule Two? What you say and how many times you say it!

Rule Three: I know you caught the little humor in Rule Two and to be perfectly honest about it, you can skim over Rule Two as long as you strictly adhere to Rule Three. Rule Three has been proven successful in all forms of advertising promoting any type of product or service you can think of. Rule Three is also the most overlooked rule and without it, I promise you disappointing results. Rule Three is simple… What you say and how many times you say it!

Make your message compelling, say it enough times for it to sink in and you’ll win every time!

Bob Martin is principal of Martin Creative Consultants, providing advertising consulting and services to manufacturing and retail businesses. His MCC VoicePros division creates  audio voiceovers for radio, TV, internet ads and presentations.

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