Advertisements are needed not only to introduce new products but also to boost the sales of the ones already in the market. With limited funds at a customer’s disposal, his buying capacity is also limited. He cannot buy everything available to him. And the one thing he decides to buy is available in so many brands that he again finds himself in a sort of dilemma which particular brand to buy?

So advertisements are designed to persuade a customer into the belief that the article being advertised will give him greater satisfaction than the money in his pocket or any other item available to him or even a similar item of a different brand. A successful advertisement tries to convince a person that he just cannot live without the particular item being advertised.

In fact advertisement has been defined as some-thing which makes one think he has longed all his life for a thing he never heard of before’. And the tenacity with which advertisements impose themselves upon us prompted a writer to present the advertising man as ‘Yes Sir, No Sir, Ulcer’.

There was a time when person advertisement has enough to sell the goods being produced by one producing unit. But with large scale production, manufacturers aim at capturing much wider markets. The Necessitates massive publicity campaigns, and big industrial houses allocate huge amounts on this item.


Hindustan Lever spend much above Rs. Two Crore a year on their promotional campaigns and ITC are not for behind. Comparing it with above Rs.150 crore a year being spent by General Motors, America or about Rs.100 crore by Colgate-Palmolive, America, and the advertisement expenses of our manufacturing units will start looking very little.

When such astronomical figures are involved, advertisers would naturally like to ensure that the money being spent by them brings them adequate returns as well. That is what makes the job of a copy writer for advertisements so important.

But it is not just the money being spent that matters. The number of advertisements meeting our eye or assailing our ears is so large that a casually produced advertisement will have absolutely no effect on a customer’s mind.

A few years back a survey was conducted to ascertain how many of the commercial manager broadcast over the Vividh Bharti Programme of the Akashvani really went home and it was revealed that only 2% messages were remembered by over 20% of the radio listeners. About 70% of the messages were remembered on an average by less than 5 percent listeners. Other messages fell in between.


A similar survey undertaken in the united sales of America showed that of about 1,500 advertising messages presented to the American Consumer every-day, only 76 ads (in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV) are noticed by him, and of these 76, only 12 or 13 create some king of impression on him beyond mere noticing.

If these facts are put by the side of over 20,000 million dollars being annually spent on advertisement in that country, it is easy to realise how hard the advertisers must by trying to fall among the lucky 76, if not among the extra lucky 12 or 13.

Characteristics of Good Advertisements:

1. Advertisements must accord to the latest fashion trends.

2. They must be brief.


3. Advertisement must cater to the consumer psychology.

4. There should be both repetition and variation in advertisements.

5. Advertisements must have a visual or auditory effect.

6. Advertisements must make the products look unique.

1. Advertisements must Accord to the Latest Fashion Trends:


Advertisements must also keep abreast of changing fashions. Big business houses are always conducting sample studies to discover why people would like to buy a particular object, and they devise their manages accordingly. Once a questionnaire was circulated among a group of ladies to find out the reasons for which they would buy a face cream.




Majority of women said they would like to buy a cream that cleans deep into the pores. So they called their cream a deep cleanser and it sold.

Similarly one can buy a tooth paste for various reasons:

1. It whitens the teeth;

2. It fights tooth decay;


3. It takes care of gums;

4. It refreshes breath.

As a matter of fact, a good tooth paste should possess all these qualities. But today when dating is so popular, it is the effectiveness of toothpaste as a deodorant that is most emphasised.

2. They must be Brief:

Commercial messages must be as brief as possible. Brevity is now where better appreciated than in an advertisement. Nobody cares to read long messages. So either totally avoid long messages or give short, catchy captions that may compel a person to read on a long one.


A double page advertisement for JCT fabrics in India Today shows a gorgeously dressed couple sitting cosingly together on a luxurious sofa. Luxury is, in fact, the key note of the environment surrounding them. The dresses worn by the couple look very elegant and expensive.

And the only message the advertisement carries is:

It’s got to be JCT.

Another advertisement for a tooth brand shows a glamorous, gorgeous American lady with her mouth open but teeth missing and a brief message boldly staring at us:

What would happen if American didn’t import Royal tooth brushes?

Needless to say that such brief messages have a better chance of sticking to one’s memory than long messages containing unnecessary details.

3. Advertisements must Cater to the Consumer Psychology:


Effective advertisements are always designed in the light of consumer psychology. The first important factor to ascertain before finalising a commercial message is the class of people that constitute the prospective buyers—are they man or women?—Young or old?— rich, not-so-rich or poor? —office goers, businessmen, professionals or college or university students?— Connoisseurs or laymen? All these customers will have different considerations while going in for a product.

Women would willingly part with the last penny they had if same beauty aid could help them to look more adorable, or if some new product was in fashion, or if some kitchen gadget could enable them to escape the drudgery of household work. Men would prefer something to enhance their masculinity and give their personality a touch of the rugged.

Young boys and girls go in for glamour and ostentatious and they prefer to look adventurous and unconventional. Durability and inexpensiveness of goods appeal to the old and the middle class people. Middle classes would also like to buy something inexpensive that could enhance their prestige and raise their social status.

University and College students would swear by the ‘in things’ —pop music, jeans, elevators, etc. connoisseurs would like to show they care for class.

Now analyzing the advertisements appearing in the magazines and newspapers. Most of the ads for gents suiting’s and make the male figure look more assertive and forceful. Dig-jam Suiting’s have “dashing designs”. Old Spice is the “mark of man”.

An advertisement for Dinesh Suiting’s shows a macho man (with very prominent Moustaches to underline the macho image), immaculately dressed in a suit (obviously stitched from Dinesh suiting’s), sitting at a table in a restaurant next to an awesome lion.


VIP Franchisee (briefs for men) advertisement shows an envelope addressed to:

All those big boys

Knocking at the doors of adulthood India

And in place of the sender’s name, it is written:


VIP Franchise


A tribute to the Indian male.

Another advertisement for HMT Watches shows a bride facing a problem-which particular watch to choose for the bridegroom, for one is “Superbly Masculine” While the other is “a personification of virility”.

The first thing that women dread is aging. So they would love to buy anything that would perpetuate their youth or at least prolong it as much as possible. That is why the makers of the pears soap say:

Some Complexions Just never grow up and the message at the bottom says: Pears Keeps your skin Young, innocent or, Satin doll Shampoo is for gorgeous dolls like you! And the Shampoo bottle shows a beautiful doll alongside—sufficient to appease the vanity of any young lady.

4. There should be Both Repetition and Variation in Advertisements:

Advertisements have to be repetitive without being monotonous. If an advertisement is not repeated at regular intervals, its message fails to get properly registered. But if the same message is constantly hammered, soon it stops drawing attention.

In fact, a stale message evokes revulsion. So an advertisement must combine in it the qualities of repetition and variation. Very often a slogan or a trade mark is made a permanent feature of a product, while subtle variations are introduced into the body of the advertisement.


Philips advertisements carry the slogan. Let’s make things better. The advertisements present a variety of products and a variety of situations, but the slogan—Let’s makes things better—remains the common denominator in all of them.

Some other advertisements with such slogans are:

Though the Pepsi campaign undertaken during the world cup matches in 1996 has long been withdrawn, words to a Sikh taxi driver offering a Pepsi—Nothing official about it.

One of the best examples of using repetition and variation is the television advertisement for magic hat and sweet sauce. (It is a little old now). It made use of two renowned artists of the small screen—Pankaj Kapoor and Javed Jeffery—engaged in hilarious situations with Pankaj Kapoor always repeating the same slogan at the end—It’s different!.

“Rasna” advertisements are also structured on the same principle. They deal with different situations with a lovable child giving the slogan at the end—I love you Rasna.

5. Advertisements must have a Visual or Auditory Effect:


All good advertisements have a visual or auditory effect. They are either attractively displayed in magazines or newspapers, or if broadcast over the radio they sound pleasant. Advertisements flashed on the TV or the Cinema screen combine in them both these qualities and are therefore quite easily remembered.

In fact, many television addicts, kinds in particular, get hooked to these advertisements and can reproduce them verbatim.

6. Advertisements must make the Products Look Unique:

Markets are often flooded with different brands of the same product. If all advertisements emphasize the same qualities, they will not prove effective. So discreet advertisers take pains to make their product to look unique. Take, for example, the following advertisements of toothpastes:

For Cleaner, Fresher breath and Whiter teeth (Colgate), Only a dentist can give her better dental care (Colgate), Toothpaste for total mouth protection (Cibaca Top). The toothpaste created by a dentist (Forhans), India’s No. 1 gum health toothpaste (Pepsodent G). Different people can buy different brands according to the quality that appeals to them or look at the advertisements of some cigarettes.

The four square people say:

Live Life King Size

Four Square Kings

The one with length and strength

(emphasis on length and strength)

The Gold Flake advertisement says:

The world of Gold Flake

Always smooth, Always Mellow (emphasis on smoothness and Mellowness)

And for Wills, it is

Filter and tobacco perfectly matched (with the famous slogan—made for each other)

Rothmans, perhaps, want to cash in on their reputation:

The great name in cigarettes—Rothmans. Be sure that if an advertisement cannot make a product look unique, it will not be able to sell it.

Characteristics of Good Advertisements:

1. Conform to the latest fashion—it is useless highlighting things nobody cares for.

2. Should have both repetition and variation—repetition for continuity and as a valuable recall aid; variation to same the advertisement from monetary.

3. Have a visual or/auditory effect—Advertisements in print media should carry attractive visuals; advertisements in electronic media should have Jingles or Catchy dialogues.

4. Should explain how the product is unique and why it should be preferred to others?

5. Appeal to the psychology of the target group—The same advertisement cannot appeal equally to the man and the woman, the old, the young and the kids, the rich and the poor.

6. Should be as brief as possible.

Making the Advertisements Attractive & Effective:

1. Give Catchy Captions

2. Give Statistics to prove your point.

3. Enumerate your achievements.

4. Make an effective, discreet use of sex appeal.

5. Use anecdotes.

6. Make use of crazy slogans.

1. Give Catchy Captions:

Catchy captions prove really effective. A caption should be dramatic so that it can immediately arrest the attention of the reader and force him to read on. See how interesting is the following advertisement for a brand of cigarettes called Abdullah:

(This is an advertisement in the no-smoker compartment of a London Transport System). NO SMOKING NOT EVEN ABDULLAH!

Another very interesting advertisement for Black and White Scotch Whisky appeared in Life. This advertisement shows a bottle of Black and White Scotch Whisky with the accompanying caption:


And at the bottom there is a brief rejoinder. AS IF WE COULD!

A third advertisement carried the caption:


The picture that follows shows a be witchingly beautiful young lady climbing up the stairs and approaching the door of a room. This photograph is followed by the question.

Did you cherry Blossom your shoes today?

2. Give Statistics to Prove your Point:

Sometimes statistics can be very effective provided they are depicted in a visual form, say in the form of a pictograph or a pie chart.

3. Enumerate your Advertisement:

It is like giving statistics to prove your point an advertisement from the khadiyar pottery works Ltd. (Gujarat) shows their medals lying in a row and a large sized trophy below. With an accompanying slogan: A tribute to excellence. And the advertisement explains that after the hat-trick of council awards, the Kodiyars have now bagged a special export award.

The atlas cycles proudly announced the fact that their production had crossed the one million mark. The best sellers often till you how many copies of the book have been sold and that is an inducement strong enough to make you buy it.

4. Make an Effective Discreet use of Sex Appeal:

There are various kinds of Misconceptions among people about. The use of the female form and sex in advertisements. While some people feel that the female form can sell anything, others dismiss it as something cheap and vulgar, and still others feel that it proves more a distraction than an aid.

A scantily clad girl showing her smooth, velvety skin may be very good for advertising a hair removing cream or a cleansing milk but we cannot use the face of a beautiful girl or her curvaceous body to sell shock absorbers, unless our imagination is so fantastic that we can justify her presence in the advertisement. In the following advertisement from Liberty people, sex has been used with subtle wit.

The picture shows a couple embracing with only the face of the girl and the back of the man majestically covered with a liberty shirt visible, and the writing bellows says:

For one glorious minute they stood unmoving.

Then……………. “Darling”, she said,

“I can’t stand on one foot the entire evening, Besides my shoe is ruining (the lady has one shoe in her hand touching his shirt)

Your perfectly beautiful Liberty Shirt.” His big bold liberty plaid made him feel devastatingly male. ‘You got a choice kid”, he said, “Off with my shirt or you take off Your other shoe.”Such a thrilling decision. ‘Pet’, She said, “let’s compromise.”

And a golden evening began……………. rhyme. Later much later, she remembered a Nursery a “one too, If you unbuckle your Shoe— three, four, he’ll shut the door.” And of Course, got it all wrong.

His shirt from Liberty’s all new summer collection. Brilliantly designed stripes, checks, coloureds, cottons, blends and pure synthetics. From Rs. 150 to Rs. 300 and over.

5. Use Anecdotes:

Insurance people have very often used stories and anecdotes to sell insurance ideas. These stories often describe how insurance was able to save a family from total disaster or how if the head of the family had been wise enough to provide for insurance, his family would not have suffered as it is suffering today.

Similar advertisements can be used to popularize prohibition. But they tend to be long and hackneyed. So they should be used sparingly.

6. Use make of Crazy Slogans:

Crazy slogans immediately draw the attention- of the readers by virtue of their being so different, so original and so refreshing. Limca advertisements have been using very interesting slogans.


Another advertisement shows a child sipping Limca and the message says:

THIRST EXPERIENCE (Pun on ‘first’) or

The advertisement shows a crate of Limca bottles beautifully photographed with the message saying:

THIRST AID BOX (Pun on ‘first aid box’).

The producers of Amul butter and Cheese have also been using such interesting slogans. And their slogans are always structured around situations of topical interest.

Types of Advertising Copy:

1. Narrative or story copy.

2. Expository copy.

3. Straight-selling copy.

4. Suggestive copy.

5. Institutional copy.

6. Educative copy.

7. Comic or humorous copy

1. Narrative or Story Copy:

This kind of advertisement Narrates a story or an incident with the help of the product presented. The customer is expected to react sympathetically to the narration and be tempted to buy and try the product or service.

2. Expository Copy:

If a copy tells openly and directly all the features of a product or a service in addition to using a suitable picture to impress a customer, it is called an expository copy. Services like hotels and airlines usually adopt this type in order to give a pictures que description of the service.

3. Straight Selling Copy:

A copy which tells us why a particular brand of a certain product should be used is known as a straight selling copy or a reason why copy? The purpose of using the product and how best this purpose is served by the brand advertised are clearly explained.

Any questions that might arise in the buyer’s mind are anticipated and answered in the advertisement itself. The reasons for buying the product may relate to health, economy, fashion etc.

4. Suggestive Copy:

This type of copy says something about a product or service but does not directly place an appeal to the customer’s mind. It simply suggests that if the customer were to buy the product, he would certainly be benefited by it.

5. Institutional Copy:

An institutional copy is one which tries to advertise on the strength of the manufacturer’s reputation. It tries to emphasise the fact that the manufacturer is not only well known but established enough to give the prospects the right goods. Advertisements for Khaitan fans often say: Khaitan— the name is enough. The Bajaj people also lay stress on the name Bajaj while people advertising their scooters.

6. Educative Copy:

Sometimes, when a particular class of buyers is to be approached the advertiser may include valuable scientific or technological information of interest to the class. Such a copy may be described as educative.

7. Comic or humorous Copy:

Some humour may also be introduced into advertising copies to effectively exploit the predicament of a prospect. A humorous touch may be given through exaggeration or through caricature.