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Learn|November 22, 2022

How To Make Ads That Work

Three thought-starters to guide your creative plan

small business partners riffing during creative meeting


How This Will Help You


Think about an ad or commercial that you remember, that you like talking about, and the ones that get you to take action. What did they have in common? They probably made you laugh, think, or tugged on your heartstrings.

Any ad or commercial that makes you feel something is great, but one that tells consumers what they need to hear is even better.

The most important thing to remember when you’re creating any ad or commercial is that you’re telling a bit of a story. And the key to successful advertising is to authentically tell your story while addressing your potential clients’ needs. How will your business solve a problem for consumers or make their lives easier or better? If you can answer that, your commercial will drive action.


Here are three thought-starters to guide your creative plan


Answer the following questions to get started:

1. Who do you want to reach with your message?

Who is your audience? What do they need? Define them. (Examples: moms between the ages of 18 and 34 or people within five miles of your business)

2. What are the three things that customers need to know about your business?

Viewers can retain only a few key points. Keep your message uncluttered and tell your story.

3. What do you want your advertising to accomplish?

Advertising goals and business goals are not exactly the same. What action do you want consumers to take? What results do you want for your business?


Before you answer the questions, consider these key points


1. Get to Know Your Audience

Think about your customers

You benefit from having a solid understanding of where your customers likely live, what products they like to buy, and general demographics like age range and family size.

Consider their needs

We often ask business owners what they wish customers knew about them. What are the most common questions people ask? Using your commercial to answer questions or address objections can help break down barriers or misconceptions, making the decision-making process more comfortable. Your commercial does a lot more than sell a product or service. It has to appeal to a consumer’s need and authentically demonstrate that what you’re offering is better than what your competition may be offering.

Establishing Trust through Creative

When we started the creative process for this local heating-cooling company with consumer research, we found that people’s top concern about fixing their homes was ensuring trust.


This award-winning commercial campaign addressed that issue by focusing on an emotional connection with homeowners.

BrodyPennel - Here For You Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
“Creative messaging gives you the opportunity to tell your story. If you truly believe in what your business is offering, shout your story from the rooftops. That’s what advertising allows you to do.”

Timm Chiusano
Vice President, Kernel


2. Think about the story you want to tell


Your brand, your business, your employees: there’s a story there. Great storytelling blurs the line between advertising, education, and entertainment. It’s about getting authentic and sharing content that’s powerful, entertaining, and engaging—content your audience wants to see and can’t wait to share.

Storytelling can set a tone for your business. It creates empathy, so consumers can picture you solving their problem or fulfilling a need. It makes a tremendous difference when you establish an authentic connection.


3. Consider a simple but potent call to action


Viewers with the best memories can only retain one or two points made in a 30-second commercial, and 50 percent of that information goes away within the first 24 hours. Keep your ad message uncluttered and offer a single call to action, like sending viewers to your website.

Your call to action should be clear and simple. It should also be the easiest, shortest path for a consumer to engage with
your business.


This client had a limited budget but wanted their campaign to be memorable. We focused on creating a script that cut to the emotional chase, and the finished spot surpassed the client’s goals.

Vein Clinic of Greater Kansas City - Ballroom Dance


When you are ready, Find a Creative Partner that Understands your Goals


The production or creative agency you choose to work with should take the time to understand your business and your consumers. Find someone who can help craft your message so it resonates with consumers.

Developing the right creative messaging is a process. Not to mention there are laws around copyrights, how to properly capture footage, talent acquisition, and music rights, just to name a few. Look for an expert in the commercial production industry who can make sure all your bases are covered.


The right partner should help you:


Learn about your consumers and business. What motivates a purchase? What will capture that perfect customer’s attention? What is your competition doing?

Define the overarching strategy to reach your consumers, connect with them, and move them to action based on your budget and needs.

Create engaging campaign concepts that align across multiple platforms.

Produce marketing materials based on your advertising needs and media plan.

Optimize for best results, using A/B creative testing or campaign performance analysis to inform future creative choices.


Kernel, Spectrum Reach’s award-winning creative agency, is a team of almost 240 spread out across the country.  Kernel was built to provide the best creative services at any budget level, and to help businesses of any size grow.