Effective Advertising – Part 3: Attention and Appeal

Posted on: June 13, 2022

This series is about five of the key factors in effective advertising. In Part 2, we talked about visibility, or getting your ads in front of your target markets. Now we’re going to discuss getting attention and appealing to your target audience with your ads.

Attention and appeal are different but the viewer moves from one to the other almost instantaneously. Attention equals eye-catching, while appeal means relevant, interesting, or enjoyable to look at.

Seek the attention of your target audience with one focal point; either an image or a headline, as you don’t want these two elements competing.


In these examples, Harley Davidson chose an image that will appeal to those who dream of the open road. UNICEF chose a bold headline with a very recognizable word. Both included clever text that makes the ads memorable because they’re relatable. Harley Davidson’s says “Somewhere on an airplane a man is trying to rip open a small bag of peanuts.” UNICEF’s message is particularly good because there is unexpected twist – likes equal zero vaccinations.

You can use your buyer persona to choose colours, shapes, fonts, and images. In general, bold colours and large fonts are attracting, and emotion evoking images and clever text are attracting.

Things that are odd, opposites juxtaposed, and humour can be both attracting and appealing. Altered images have become popular, but be aware that things like altering faces can also be off-putting.

Another caution. We are currently living in a very sensitive environment, so although the goal is to get attention, you need to be extremely careful to do that in a positive way that is not going to offend anyone. That is a challenge, but protecting your brand is important.

Next time, presenting your solution.

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