Here is some advice I gave a friend regarding setting up a TV-Video Ad campaign for "HONDA"….


Creative, attention-grabbing ads will help you get campaign results; steps I use to help to craft effective campaigns are: The way you combine words, colors, graphics, sound, ideas and animation are critical to any campaign success.


To start, you need to define goals to plan for your campaign. Ask yourself the following questions: What do I seek to accomplish with this campaign? What action do I want online users to take when they see my ad? Once you have done this it’s time to develop your advertising message with a punch… “Remember, make it fun, exciting, sexy but with taste, given something to think about…that something to stick in their heads, that eventually will make them turn their heads and attention to your ad, product or service you are advertising.


Consider banner ads which use both graphics and text, video clip ads, images, text, sound; it is important to consider these elements. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you craft an effective ad campaign.


1. Study the competition online. “Go see what others, or competition are doing”; when designing a creative piece like a banner ad, video clip, start by identifying the best ads that you have seen. The easiest way to do this is to visit the major portals such as and look at the different banner ads from your competition. Try to identify at least three ads that catch your attention and your interest. What, if anything, do these ads have in common? This will help you understand what techniques are effective, as well as what design style appeals to you.


2. Use clear graphics and messaging. Your main objective is to have people take a particular action after viewing your ad; a strong, clear message will help capture their interest. Clear communication requires that you understand your message, what you are selling and the benefit that you are offering potential customers. You will often want your primary message to be the strongest visual element in your ad (“like Cherry pie”)…. no joke I’m serious, grabbing their attention is the main thing, once you done that, everything else will automatically trigger a domino effect that eventually will translate in web hits, traffic, popularity (both online and onsite), prospects, sales, happy customers, and continue revenue growth.


3. Control the file size. How many times have you had to wait on a banner ad before you could view a website? To minimize user frustration, you need to limit the file size of your ad; as a general rule a 468 x 60 pixel ad should be 12 kilobytes or less for a banner or about 2 to 3 minutes for a video, may 5 depending. The easiest way to achieve this is for a banner ad is to limit the number of colors you use and save your banner as an animated GIF file, for a video clip, need to take in consideration length of film, sound, definition, quality and effects, keep in mind not everyone has a range of wide bandwidth or high speed broadband.


4. Say it in a few words. This is especially important for a banner campaign, where you are limited to a small visual space. Using fewer words means that you can make the font size bigger, which increases the impact of your message. For example, instead of saying "You will be satisfied with the speed and reliability of our repair services," you could say "Fast, reliable, quality, repairs. Guaranteed." Sort of the same rule applies for the video clips when adding the text, sound and scripts.


5. Use powerful words. These are single words that immediately communicate a benefit. "Free," "unbelievable," "incredible," "affordable," "heartwarming" “reliable”– a brainstorming session will help you create a list of words that are perfect for your campaign; also now there is a marketing trend mixing Spanish words with the ad campaigns, these are easy words that American know and use from time to time like “Pronto”, mas Fun… let’s TANGO…and so on….


6. Select images carefully. Adding visuals is like being a professional chef or like cooking with spices; usually everything is analyzed by the eyes of our customers; if they like what they see, they will eventually buy it. Too few will lead to a bland banner or video, while too many will destroy the desired effect. If you want to add an eye-catching graphic, royalty free stock photography is an inexpensive option. There are several websites online that offer these images as you know it. Using a drawing or chart with a limited number of colors is an effective way to catch the eye while limiting the file size; with video choose your scenery according to the ad you are creating, add the sound and effects, do not forget the script or catching monologue.


7. Contrast to capture attention. Include these elements: background colors, a bold text message, and a photograph or drawing, sound, and animated. To be effective you need to have contrast between these elements. Contrast can be achieved using different font sizes and bolds and colors. With video clips, make sure you have the correct lighting, correct shades, noise reduction, clarity, appropriate scenic, music, correct monologue, beginning, development-transition, ending.


8. Limit the fonts. When designing your ad, try to use no more than two fonts. If you do use two or more fonts be sure to select fonts from different categories. There are three main font categories: serif (which have tiny "feet" on the letters), sans serif (with no decorative "feet") and decorative (which include highly decorative and script or handwritten fonts); believe it or not this is important, but also relative to your campaign and clients wants…remember..”Wanting does not provide the same effects or results than NEEDING” and you need to balance that….


9. Don’t overdo animation. If you plan to use animation in your ad, there are a few things to consider. You want the animation to draw the eye without offending the online viewer. When setting the animation speed, look for something that changes at a slow to moderate pace (like Cherry pie–ad you created before”); that was pretty excellent to be your first.., I’m impressed.. It helps to set your animations so that they stop after three cycles; some sites may insist on this.


10. Less really is more. As you create your design, remember that less cluttered messages will make a stronger impact with the online viewer. Limit the number of elements — the colors, fonts, graphics, sounds and words — that you use in your ad and ask yourself whether your primary message is clear and/or in within target.


Hope these shine some light in everything you are trying to do with marketing, advertising and the internet…I know that many of these you already knew, but is always good to go-back to basics and remember.


It is never easy to invent yourself, over and over, trying to come up with new things it never an easy task, but that is what keeps it interesting and fun. Audiences are very hard to please but if you keep it simple, straight to the point, fun and little sexy, I’m certain it will sell and you will be very successful and happy with the results.




John Bisner