Seven Common Advertising Mistakes and How to Correct Them

Blog Post By: Aaron Baer, President of Baer Performance Marketing


  1. Failure to attract the listener’s attention
  • Most of us have had a teacher who spoke in a monotone voice that drove our heads right to our desks for nap time in class. This is the effect you want to avoid in your advertising. Craft a meaningful message to touch consumers on an emotional level, and you will reap the benefits of a higher return on your advertising investment.


  1. Failure to appeal to the potential customer’s self interest
  • As a potential customer for a new roof, I’m concerned with the safety it will provide, the leaks it will fix and how the roof will look on my house — NOT how many years a company has been in business. As an advertiser, ask yourself this: What’s really in it for the customer?


  1. Failure to use words that paint pictures
  • Example: Radio is often called theatre of the mind. The bottom line is words are interpreted differently by each individual person. A blue sky to me is a baby blue color with the sun shining, but a blue sky to another person may be the dark blue shade right before sunset. Use descriptive words to bring your statements to life and mean something special to each individual.


  1. Being so creative that you forget to sell
  • This failure is way too common, especially in Super Bowl advertising. We have all seen those catchy, entertaining, funny commercials that we all talk about at the water cooler or on the phone to our friends, but you fail to remember the product it was for. Some of you might remember the ads from a few years ago with monkeys that do the river dance routine. Do you remember what product or company it was for? If you said “Arby’s,” you are correct. Chances are you work in advertising or are a huge fan of Arby’s to remember that.


  1. Failure to give the potential customer a reason to act now
  • Have you ever seen or heard a commercial and asked yourself, “So what?” I sure have. Many have left me wishing I had that thirty or sixty seconds back in my life. Whether the goals of your commercials are more sale and event-based with a specific offer or the goal is to brand your business and build awareness, there needs to be some sort of a call-to-action. Either provide concrete reasons for a person to look into your company or promote a specific offer with a deadline in the immediate future.


  1. Cliché copy
  • “Best service in the area,”“great customer service,” “#1 in xyz product category”…these all basically mean nothing to the consumer. They are all empty, unproven claims for the most part. For example, let’s just say you have just moved into a new house and are excited to make it your own. What means more to you…an ad for a lighting and irrigation company with a focus on the green, lush grass and landscape lighting to accentuate the unique design of your home while making your neighbors jealous OR a commercial that focuses on the number of years in business, second-to-none customer service, and the friendliest employees in the area? I think most of us would agree that the feeling we get from the first option is much more powerful.


  1. Too much copy
  • This holds especially true with website content, radio, and print advertising. If you are unfamiliar with radio and look at the option of either purchasing a 30 second commercial or a 60 second commercial, most people would automatically say take the 60 second commercial. A 60 second commercial filled with 30 seconds of irrelevant information is a waste of your money and the listeners’ time.


For assistance with your advertising messaging, marketing strategy, and all other facets of marketing, call 920-632-7648 to let the BPM team help you in your quest for more effective marketing!