Here's an advertiser that one of my clients recently approached after seeing this small ad in a competing product. For the typical ad rep, it would look like this business had no money to spend and certainly no way to get them spending any more money, especially in this economy.
This ad rep, working at a small newspaper called the Prairie Post where we recently conducted our Response Oriented Selling course as part of a larger initiative with their parent group, knew better. The prospect's average sale was very high and had a relatively thin market--few people in the market right now--which is a dead giveaway that they needed to run larger and could if the ad provided any response. Just as importantly, we knew just by looking at that they weren't getting any response in the competitors' publication.
So, as I outlined in my first post, instead of giving the old ad to an artists with instructions to "Jazz it up" and "Be creative", instead the ad rep went out and shared with the account a new, much more reliable approach to advertising, taught using the Socratic method so the prospect bought into it. Once the account had the expected "epiphany", wondering why the other paper wasn't explaining any of this to her, the ad rep was able to move on to get the right information, apply our direct-response approach, send it through, in this case, to our overnight ad production service, and the next morining had this 3/4-page ad back in her hands, which she then presented. The account signed a $29,000 contract on the spot, mostly because they finally understood how to drive customers with advertising. We eliminated the risk associated with response.
Too much copy? I'll leave that for another post to dispell that myth, but suffice it to say that your readers are just that--readers--and they don't immediately become illiterate once they hit an ad. In fact, for someone helping their parents choose an assisted living facility (that was their target customer) this may be the most important thing in the newspaper that day.
For those who have taken our Response Oriented Selling course or are members of our DesignYourAd Overnight Ad Production service, you can use this ad as a template. Just ask for ad 629-Riverview Village Estates-55-V1c or select it from our gallery of effective services ads.