THE SECRET TO WRITING GREAT ADS: TELL THE TRUTH

You don’t have to be a seasoned advertiser, marketer or creative to distinguish a bad ad from a good one. You just know it when you see it. But why?

Good ads are ones that change behaviour, they are ones that people remember. They resonate because they matter. While creative writing and design are important to create a beautiful execution, we need something more. We need ads to actually say something: the truth.

Nothing resonates more than something that rings true. We feel it instantly and deep in our gut. These human truths are always at the core of great brands and ideas.

While it may seem simple, finding a relevant human truth, or human insight, to anchor your message in is no easy feat. But if you want to make exceptional ads that people will remember—that will build your brand—these truths are essential.

A human insight goes beyond products and benefits

Human insights are rarely about features and outcomes, but are about people, about behaviour.

They reveal something that’s universally true about what it means to be human. They shine light on something that others might miss. They connect with something deep inside of us—however serious or silly.

Whether it’s our need to belong, to connect, to feel special, to be understood, to reach our potential. When ads are anchored in human truth, they resonate.

Think about Nike’s ‘Just Do It’. Instead of advertising their product features, Nike taps into a human insight: we are dreamers, but we tend to procrastinate.

The result? The simplicity of Nike’s message struck a chord with society’s longing to achieve their goals. It helped people bond to the Nike brand because they could see something true about themselves in it. By becoming the encouragement behind reaching fitness goals, Nike’s message is still relevant and true some 30 years on.

A human insight can sustain an idea

Ads that are anchored in human insights, in bigger ideas, can set your brand up for long term success. When you connect your ad to a truth, your message becomes more ‘sticky’. It can resonate with people in a way they won’t soon forget.

When people remember your ads, they’re more likely to change their behaviour, more likely to bond with your brand, and more likely to share your message. It can build a longer lasting relationship, and you won’t have to solely rely on marketing tactics because people will carry your message.

Think about Snickers ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’. They tapped into a human truth relevant to their product: hunger can make us act differently, and it’s usually never good. They positioned themselves as the solution. Over ten years later, the campaign is still going strong.

A human insight can make an ad something meaningful

Shining light on a human truth can make us feel something, they can make us see the world in a different way. And that’s what matters to people.

We are constantly inundated with ads purely trying to sell us things. If we make our ads something meaningful—something true and something that matters—they’ll stand out.

If ads are interesting, people will share them because they care about the idea, and that’s worth pursuing.

Are your ads anchored in human insights?

Great ideas that change behaviour only happen when they are based on a relevant truth. People are smart, and phony ads with no substance aren’t good enough. They don’t matter to the real world.

Whether it’s your brand, campaign or a single ad, if it doesn’t resonate with people, it won’t perform as well as it can.

At Stead Lane, we can bring fresh eyes to your brand and messaging. We can help you mine for relevant human truths, so you can stand out and resonate. Let’s chat!

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