Is Your Advertising Believable

  • Aug 18, 2020

Many years ago I read a story about a family that lived near a football stadium. On game days people would park in their yard. They put up signs threatening to tow cars away but people would park there anyway. Then they put up a sign that worked. What did it say?

The new sign said, "If you park here we'll let the air out of your tires." So why did this one work and not the first one? After all, I'd rather lose my air than have my car towed.

The reason is that the second sign was believable. Drivers didn't believe that the homeowners would tow their car. But they did believe that they would let the air out of their tires.

Your advertising has to be believable too. I saw an advertisement for an advertising copywriter who said he could "triple your profits." I don't believe that good copy would normally make that much difference. I get insurance advertisements from various insurance companies who claim that they can save me money on my auto insurance. Well, they can't all be cheaper than each other. So, I don't believe it.

What about your advertising, is it believable? Being accurate is not good enough, it also has to be believable. If I see an ad for a plumber who offers $30 off my next service call, do I believe it? I believe I will get $30 off, but I don't believe I will save money. Since I don't know if his basic service call rate is I don't know if he is knocking $30 off an inflated regular price. 

Dominos offered thirty-minute service or your pizza was free. The free guarantee made it believable. Outlet stores offer low prices. This is believable because they sell stuff that they don't want to put in their regular stores for various reasons - out of season, over stocked, not selling well, etc.

Make your advertising believable, or you will not get much response.

© Stephen Ghelerter, Shorty's Print and Promo    142 

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