Speaking in tongues: An Ad killer.
If you feel you did not understand a word of the last spot you saw on TV, do not worry, it’s not your fault, blame an advertiser speaking in tongues… Did you make an advertisement that nobody seems to understand? It’s your fault!
What seemed to be the most basic principles of communication, are often overlooked by some creative who did not read the market report, a strategist who did not interpret the needs of the public, or some advertiser too full of himself to listen to the customer .
Happens every day, when you see the advertising of a product that could potentially be relevant to you, but you have no idea about what is the basic promise of sales, or the message they send, or who was targeted.
Do not forget the basic guidelines:
- Talk to people in their language.
- Do not talk to people in a language they do not understand (Does it seem to be the same as above? Is not!).
- If you’re going to invent a funny language, use the language of your audience.
- If your language has a secret code that is interesting, hilarious, original and brilliant, don’t use it unless is the same language that your audience understands.
You know who are the only ones who can speak in tongues and make money with it, if you’re not in that business, don’t do it. Unless you’re the next James Cameron or Gene Roddenberry do not invent a language, the Na’vi and Klingon only works in movies. If your message is not aimed at fans of Lord of the Rings, do not talk to your audience in something that sounds like Sindarin.
Be simple, be direct, be understandable.
Every time an ad for an insurance company begins to say how simple they are, what we really communicate is that they want to cover how complicated they are. If you talk fast and put small print at the bottom of the screen, you’ll scare everybody.
If you sell shoes, show them! Garnish the environment as you want, give the inspirational message you want, but do not forget you sell shoes. If your shoes are not important, then sell the brand, and if you want to sell the brand, show your brand!
Flirt with your audience, intrigue them, love them, make them to fall in love with you, with life or whatever you want. But speak to them in their language. You should not fail at this point for anything in the world. Remember, if they do not understand you they will not buy you.