The Penultimate Word

How to Lose a Sale with Your Ad Photo

What do you think is being advertised?Adorable … absolutely adorable! That picture of two newborns snuggled together (or maybe they’re just porcelain dolls) was used in a newspaper ad. Cute as can be.

You’ll never guess what they were advertising.¬†Go ahead, guess. No, never mind, I’ll just tell you. They weren’t advertising for obstetricians or life insurance policies or baby food, baby clothes or baby monitors. They were advertising … wait for it … CARS!

Now, I ask you, what do babies have to do with cars?!

We need to keep in mind that the first thing people notice about an ad is the picture (that is, if the ad even has a picture). If the picture captures the readers’ attention and displays something they want or need, then they move to the ad’s headline. Again, if the headline grabs their interest, then they read the rest of the copy. That’s how it works.

So consider this … your current clunker is wheezing itself out of commission. You need a new car, but your days are full and your mornings are hectic; you don’t have time to shop. So, you’re flipping through the newspaper as you wolf down some toast and coffee while you wait for your carpool. You’re looking specifically for car ads. Are you going to stop for an ad with a picture of babies?¬†Probably not … because you’re in the market for a car, and babies have nothing to do with cars.

Sorry, Mr. Car Dealership Man. You just lost a sale.

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