The One-Two Punch

It can be easy to fall in love with a slick commercial when you’re looking for a campaign for your business. Maybe it makes you laugh, maybe it makes you sound cool, or trendy or any number of other images. But, does it actually say anything solid about your business? The only way that most commercials relate to the business they promote is that they mention their name. That’s probably 90% of advertisements. If you want to be in the top 10% you need to stand out from the pack. To stand out, you need to me more than clever or witty. You need to say something about your business that nobody else says, and you need to say it all the time.

Here’s a quick way to find out if your commercials are mediocre. Keep in mind that your commercials may be superbly written and still be mediocre. To be great, the commercial has to be undeniably about you.

When you get your script cross out every mention of your businesses name. In its place write in your biggest competitors name. Now read it back to yourself. Is the commercial now for them? Could they put it on the air tomorrow without anyone thinking any different? If so, that commercial is not about you. It’s a beautiful mirage with your name on it.

I have to stress again that this is not a slight against your creative team. The script might actually be amazing. They just may not have all the pieces they need to make something great.

Think of all the flash, humour, and grandstanding that is in your commercial simply as a hook to deliver one important message about your business. The funny or interesting parts of commercials that people fall in love with are only the first step towards a great commercial. Those elements can be used for any of your competitors. It is not your message. It is simply a way to make people listen. Once they listen you need to deliver the true message. The true message is that one important thing about your business that makes you undeniably more appealing than your competitor. You may still need to figure out what that is.

Great creative is a one-two punch. Unfortunately, too many businesses get too caught up in the flash to deliver the knock out.