Your advertisement is the first interaction your potential customers may have with your company or organization. In the four to seven second it takes that person to scan your ad, you have to be able to convince them that what you’re offering is so important, they need to stop what they’re doing, click on your advertisement, and buy your product.

So how do you make an advertisement so compelling that someone has little choice but to follow the ad to your web site or landing page?


It’s important to understand the structural elements of an advertisement, whether it’s a print ad, an online banner, an email or even a video. By understanding the fundamentals of what goes into making an advertisement, you’ll know how to make your advertising better.

For an advertisement to be successful it has to contain three distinct elements:

The Visual

For print and online media advertising, the visual element of the advertisement is what first draws your viewers attention to the ad. Is the visual explaining what you’re selling? Would a picture of the product be helpful, or would a metaphor work better? Can people relate/identify with your ad?

Choose your visual elements for their immediate emotional appeal. In a fraction of a second, your brain will process an image and you will have made an unconscious decision whether or not you can understand and/or relate to that visual.

The Pitch

Whether it’s written or text spoken in a video, the description of what you’re selling is what holds your viewers attention and gives them the salient points on what you’re selling. What voice is being used? Is it the hard sell, the intellectual, the conversational, or a different voice, and is it appropriate for your product or service? Are you identifying your brand clearly in the ad?

The Action

This is what you want your viewers to do if they’re interested in what you’re selling. They can click to learn more, call a phone number, visit a web address, or do something else that will ultimately register as what is called a conversion from viewer to customer, client, volunteer, or donor.

The impression you make with your ad will be the difference between getting a new customer and getting ignored