Archive for May, 2010

find the strategy

Identifying an ad strategy isn’t always as hard as you might make it out to be. There are many times where you can over think a very simple ad  strategy to the point where you’re quickly stumbling over words trying to explain yourself.

Be sure to reference the book. It helps a great deal, especially the first few times you need to identify an ad strategy. Remember, some ads can have multiple strategies, so don’t try to narrow it down to just one. If a few fit, odds are they will all work.

Try and figure out who the ad is targeting and what they’re really selling. This may sound a little strange, but they could be selling happiness, or relaxation but advertising for a resort in the Bahamas. Getting the basics down first will really help out in the long run, and make things much easier when more difficult ads come your way.

Just remember, there’s a lot of extra ‘stuff’ added to many of the ads out there to make them catchy. Look past that and see the simple message; start from there. Good luck!


Determining an Ad’s Strategy

Determining the strategy of an advertisement may be obvious or it may take a little more thinking to uncover. You ultimately have to define what the ad itself is trying to say. Who is the ad speaking to? How are they speaking to them? What is the overall idea the ad is trying to convey? The answers to these questions can help you connect the dots to figure out the ad’s strategy. It’s not always going to be apparent at first sight, but remember to stay objective and evaluative in analyzing the ad’s tone and message. Try not to over think it and you’ll be fine!

What’s the Strategy?

Dear Students:

After writing many blogs for my Creative Ad Strategies class, determining the strategy of an ad is now much easier. At first, everything was a little blurry, but with practice it became a lot easier; therefore, if you have troubles when you first begin doing this, don’t panic.

You must first start by knowing everything there is to know about the product. If you don’t know what the product is or what it does, how can you say anything about it? You can’t analyze an ad without knowing anything about what the ad is trying to sell.

Next, you must be able to recognize the target audience. Once you figure out who the the target audience is the ad will become clearer. The target audience is what the creative team also starts with before even creating the advertisement. The advertisement has to be directed towards a certain target audience or it will in the end be directed towards no one; you’re target audience can’t be everyone.

Looking at the pictures on the ad can also help determine the strategy; look at the colors, the fonts, the objects, if there is people look at their faces and so on.

Before deciding on the strategy, analyze the ideas above as well as anything else there is to study in the ad. The more ads you study, the easier determining the strategy will be.

Future Ad Strategy Students!

Identifying an ad strategy is sometimes easier said than done. Although a simple concept, ad strategies come in all forms; good and bad. Execution, a cousin of the ad strategy, is equally important and often times both have to be brilliant for the ad to be successful.

My own personal advice is to review the chapter in your text that deals with strategy. In our text, George Felton explaines strategy to be the “what” and the execution to be the “how” of an advertisement. I reread this chapter numerous times when writing my blog posts and I can quote this chapter word for word! One final thought is never become discouraged. Always work hard and continue to study what an ad strategy means. Among the many things I’ve learned from this class, the most important thing has got to be that everyone has room for improvement in the advertising industry. Always try your best, relax and enlist the help of your coleagues and your best work will shine through! Best of luck!


Finding the strategy in an advertisement can be a hassle at first, but after a while it is easy as can be. When searching for the strategy you must look beyond the ad itself. You need to find the underlying message. What is good about the product, its features, the benefits? Then you can find the strategy. Example: Buy Crest tooth paste because it gives you clean teeth and fresh breath. It is one statement, and nothing more.

How to Identify an Ad Strategy

A simple step-to-step guide to identify an advertising strategy.

  1. Think about the product, who is buying it (demographic), what kind of people are they (psychographic)? This is your audience.
  2. Think about the message they’re trying to convey, does it have to do with a specific product, or the brand?
  3. Think about the research involved, are they trying to sell a product (product-oriented), or a lifestyle (consumer-oriented).
  4. Once you have this down, try to fill in this sentence with your information. From here, You can get a pretty good strategy going. “This ad persuades _______ that______ because_______.”

For Example: This is a common ipod ad.

  1. The people buying these are people who like to have the music they like, all the time, especially on the go.
  2. This message is definitely about the product. It’s the only thing in the ad besides the silhouette of the girl.
  3. There is no text, no product specifications or even anything that shows what the ipod is capable of, except for rocking out. This is a lifestyle kind of ad, it’s very consumer oriented. This girl is is loving the iPod, she’s dancing by herself. It shows freedom. It gives you a feeling, more than knowledge about the product.

So, finally…”This ad persuades music lovers that Ipods are cool and fun because they allow you to do your own thing

And Now A Message For Future Strategy Bloggers

The identification of a strategic message seems like a fairly easy task.

But even after repeatedly attempting to pinpoint them, they can be rather elusive.  

First, figure out what the ad is selling.  Then decide who they are selling it to and why it is targeted at that particular group.  

Usually, strategies are either product-oriented or consumer-oriented.  Identifying which will help you narrow down the rest.

Whether the ad has excessive art direction or is fairly straight-forward, the strategy is always there for you to find.

Just remember to investigate what they’re selling and how they are pushing it.