How you know you have a GREAT advertisement

Do I have a product that will sell and will this advertisement sell? Two questions posed by everyone in business, and particularly marketing. I have the secret formula for you right here.

Its late September, and I’m sitting in a product meeting unlike any other product meeting I’ve seen before. Alexander Elnekaveh (he’s not Alexander Innovation Wizard yet) is talking about the product of the future. In marketing, you must have bravado about your products. If you don’t believe in them, you won’t convince anyone to purchase. I’m thinking, I’ve heard Alex say many of the same positive things about other products of his in the past but they didn’t pan out into best sellers.

Something is different about this new product. I’m sitting there staring at a pair of men’s dress shoes. What’s so special about these shoes? They have spring in the heals, reducing the impact walking has on your ankles, knees, hips, and spine. The shoes are incredibly comfortable too. AND they are dress shoes. This means, I can walk into a client’s office and be both comfortable and good looking at the same time. That’s a rarity in the world of professional business attire.

As an advertiser, I know my gut feeling is only going to get me so far. I need something concrete to know that a product or an advertisement is going to work. There are several traditional options, such as focus groups and testing. People even have “experts” look at the ad and tell them whether the ad is going to sell or not.

Working with Alex on the shoes, I discovered a new method for determining if an advertisement is going to be a success. It’s pretty simple, actually. Here it is: If everyone is telling you no but the sales are showing otherwise, you have a great ad.

When I first told SkyMall that we wanted 2 pages for the shoes, they said we were crazy. The shoes are outselling the next best selling item by 4x. SkyMall is notorious for being conservative with their products. On the other hand, Popular Mechanics is well known for being cutting edge and keeping up with the latest in technology and innovation in both content and advertisements. They were pleased to have the two page advertisement on page 4 of their February issue. Of course, the shoes are selling great! Going back to conservative publications, Scientific American shunned the idea of the advertisement in their magazine completely. It wasn’t just the advertisement, it was the product. This was proof positive that we are on the right path. Scientific American is much more conservative with their publication than Popular Mechanics. Not surprisingly, you will see more innovative products advertised in Popular Mechanics, which also boasts a circulation 3x the size of Scientific American.

You might be thinking, Jared is crazy! Well, I won’t rule out that idea. However, when you compare the direction that publications like Popular Mechanics are going (increasing circulation while competitive magazines are stagnant or decreasing circulation), it makes sense. These kinds of magazines are winners because they are willing to remain competitive with their advertising costs while staying fresh with both their content and advertising.

People subscribe to magazines not just for the content, but for the advertisements as well. Don’t agree? Two words: Super Bowl. Still don’t agree? Comment.

While there seems to be a never ending list of people with great things to say about the Gravity Defyer Shoes (such as Dr. Joe Vitale, who literally wrote the book on Direct Marketing), there is a long list of people who think it’s crazy! The only thing crazy about the Gravity Defyer Shoes is how much people love them when they try them on.

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  1. ken

    Jared, you take the big confusing picture and lay out it perfectly for even the common laymen to understand. Good work!




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