A Classic Commercial Fail: See Our Ad In This Magazine! But WHY?

How many radio or television advertisements have you heard asking you to “see our ad in (magazine title) magazine”?

Was your curiosity tripped enough to actually buy said publication to see what the great mystery payoff was?

Me neither.


Usually, there’s no mention of the reason why to see it.

The client may simply want the audience to check out their spiffy, multiple-colored, high-priced ad with the pretty pictures. Usually, flowers/dogs/children/families – or the newest medication awaiting FDA approval. It makes their Graphics Department feel good, I guess.


If you’re going to direct the audience someplace other than your most desired lead capture (phone, website, in-store, etc.), you better give them a reason to do so.

Otherwise, you’ve assumed the role of the “puppet master” in a huge game of “hide and seek”. With no guarantee of a rewarding payoff to the consumer, that’s an incredibly dangerous risk.


Offer the audience something of value. Anything. A free trial membership. A valuable coupon (keyword: valuable) – at least 50% off, Buy One Get One, etc. A free sample by simply mailing in their coupon in the print ad.

*BONUS TIP* If you are running a print ad, investigate and implement a QR Code. They’re showing up in more and more print advertisements. Have that link to something of value on your website…not just your website.

But the most critical part of this entire exercise is, you must tell the audience why to go to your print ad. Just asking them to is one more thing they’ll hear, but never do.


Consumers already feel they’re paying too much for items in today’s economy. The absolute biggest mistake you can make as an advertiser (especially now) is to have someone purchase something else because you ask/instruct them to – with little or no payoff. Talk about generating negative feelings toward a company…that will do it in their mind immediately.


About timburtmedia

30,000+ ads globally. Commercial Advertising Marketing - world-wide audio producer, voice-over talent, copywriter.
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