That difference is fun. Or put another way, the excitement of being at the table, the excitement of the crowd, the big name acts, the buzz. “It really is the excitement that you’re selling, you’re not just selling a game of blackjack you’re selling the experience of going to the casino.”
So, what makes a great ad? According to O'Reilly, it is: “One that sells. Truly. First and foremost one that makes the cash register ring — that makes a great ad. And then I think if you just back up from there, you have to attach a great idea, a great selling idea to a product.”
As for what that idea entails, O'Reilly adds: “A great selling idea has to do a couple of things. First and foremost, it has to get attention because you can’t sell anything to anybody unless you’ve got their attention.”
Surely, Getting attention is critical – but don’t stop there. Simply getting attention without tying your message back to the Casino is just a gimmick. We’ve all seen some hilarious commercials but soon afterwards, although we remember the joke, we can’t remember who the commercial was for.
“Many times I feel that’s a broken strategy at work,” notes O'Reilly. “The creative is obviously doing the right thing, it’s getting a lot of attention, it’s being passed around, but an ad is only as good as its basic strategy, and the strategy has to be meaningful. Also, the strategy should give you a really good link to the product. If that link is weak, if it’s not meaningful, if it’s peripheral, if it’s just selling the category and not the product as a rule, it’s because the strategy is weak.”
And the strategy is the other piece of the puzzle to creating great ads; presenting the product in a meaningful way. Says O'Reilly: “It has to frame the product or service in such a way that it’s memorable and it makes you feel there’s something unique about that brand. And lastly, it should ask for a call to action. It should very easily tell you what the next step could be, either to pick up the phone, get online or get down to the store. Those are really the steps of a great ad, a creative selling idea that gets attention, frames the product in such a way that there’s something memorable about it and lets people know how they can act on it.”
So now you have the secret, all you need are ideas! You can catch Terry O’Reilly on the radio, or pick up his book, The Age of Persuasion.
By David Bellerive, Phoenix Group