4 Old-School Advertising Strategies That Still Work Today

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old-marketing-edmontonAre you struggling with how to advertise your business? Why not give these tried-and-true advertising practices a go? They may seem vintage, but they’re proven winners.

Grab ’em with a Headline

Never underestimate the power of a carefully crafted headline. Before Twitter challenged users to say it in 140 characters or less, savvy headline writers employed the least amount of words to brilliantly communicate a brand’s essence. This was penned by advertising legend David Ogilvy in 1958: “At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.” It’s still widely regarded as the best headline in the history of automobile advertising. Why? Sure, the headline highlights the quiet engine, but it also promises an escape from the din of everyday life. In only 18 words, Ogilvy conveys the Rolls-Royce’s expert design, precise engineering, and luxurious ride — a car that millions aspired to own but only a select group could afford. Make sure your headline not only communicates your product’s benefits, but the ones that are important to your target audience too.

Get Direct with your Marketing

Communicating directly to the customer is not a new technique. In 1967, advertising pioneer Lester Wunderman introduced the term “direct marketing.” What followed were record clubs, infomercials, reward programs, and 800 numbers, transforming the advertising industry. In order to tailor your message to maximize future response, you need to take a good long look at your customer data. What are their demographics? Their average purchase price? Their product and service preferences? And their favorite method of shopping? Analyzing your data will shape how you communicate to the market moving forward. Perhaps you’ll decide to publish a monthly e-newsletter, launch a loyalty program, or develop a new service. A data-driven campaign will surely boost your business.

Make your Advertising Memorable with Babies and Dogs

There’s an old advertising adage that says babies and dogs are good for the bottom line. For example, consider these iconic brand images: the Gerber baby, the dog tugging at the pigtailed girl’s bathing suit for Coppertone, and the RCA Victor terrier in front of the phonograph horn. Research often shows that a giggling baby or a romping puppy can make a product more appealing. But before including one of these cuties in your advertising, remember that their presence should support your brand’s positioning, not overshadow it.

Include a Call To Action

A call to action is a phrase that urges the consumer to act. From Ginsu’s “Order now!” to Nike’s “Just Do It,” the call to action has been a staple of effective advertising for generations. Today you have many opportunities to get a consumer to interact with your business. On your company’s social media pages, you can share a “Buy 1 Get 1 Free” special offer with fans and followers. At the base of all emails, banner ads, and other company communications, include a link to your website. And after a purchase is made, encourage customers to return to your site a post a review. These calls to action build brand awareness and may well lead to a sustained increase in sales.

Employ old-school advertising strategies to inject new life into your marketing efforts. Carefully craft your headlines inspired by Olgivy’s brilliant brevity, analyze your data to shape how you communicate to the market moving forward, feature babies and dogs to make your product more appealing, and utilize calls to action to urge a consumer to act and build brand awareness. Put these proven techniques into practice and watch your bottom line grow!


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