Warning! (Are Your Ads Missing This Element?)

Have you ever noticed the similarity between the French word “avertissement” and our English “advertisement”?

Same word origin. Avertissement literally means “warning.”

In many ways, an advertisement should be a warning to those who see/hear it. Do your ads have the same sense of urgency that “Danger: Electric Shock” signs carry? They should.

Your target audience needs to 1) notice your message, and 2) take action to avoid the danger ahead. That also means that your marketing should address actual danger, or problems. Many of the teachers of advertising and marketing will tell you never to use negative headlines. Pure horse-manure! Even if you take a positive approach to delivering your message, you should be presenting the positive aspects of not getting electrocuted.

If what you’re selling is worth its salt, there is a real danger for anyone who doesn’t buy from you. The danger of getting ripped-off… …of paying too much… …getting less… …or missing out on the happiness they might have if they did buy from you. Keep the French roots of the word advertisement in the forefront of your thinking when you’re promoting your products and services. It’s your responsibility to protect your customers from the dangers that accompany not buying from you! If your product or service isn’t valuable enough to warrant a warning to make sure the target audience buys, maybe you shouldn’t be selling it.

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