Effective Advertising – Part 4: Problem > Solution

Posted on: June 30, 2022

Your ad has caught the attention of your target audience. Now, what’s your sales pitch? Concisely summarizing the solution you have to offer is the third factor in creating an effective ad. This series starts here.

The old standard was to showcase “features and benefits.” That approach is still fine for long copy, like a brochure or the inside pages of your website. For an advertisement though, you need to get to the point fast. You’re selling a solution. How that solution is created is less important.

Here are some examples of headlines to attract and appeal followed with a solution statement:

• Sleep Better: This non-addictive prescription drug will put you to sleep in ten minutes, guaranteed.
Cobwebs on the ceiling? We’ll get those for you. We also collect dust bunnies.

The viewer relates to the headline; they really need sleep, or those cobwebs have been bugging them for weeks. In the first example, we get right to it. Take our pill and you’ll fall asleep fast. “Guaranteed” keeps them interested. They don’t know what that guarantee is yet, but since other solutions haven’t worked, they’ll keep reading to find out.

The second example is a little more obtuse, but makes the point that this cleaning service has a bit of a sense of humor and does a good job – from ceiling to floor.

The goal is to keep the viewers attention for a few more seconds. Depending on the type of ad, and more specifically, how much space you have, you can either give them a little more information or move right to your call to action.

While it’s tempting to list ALL of the wonderful things about your product or service, pick the one or two that are most important to your target market. Think about overcoming objections. For the skeptical insomniac, outline that guarantee: “Your money back at the point of purchase, no questions asked.” For the one who’s realizing they need help with the cleaning, the words “affordable” and “bonded” might be good choices.

You don’t have to make the sale – yet. You just want to get them thinking about your offer.