5 Key Elements to set your advertising apart

What makes great advertising?


According to Ad Savvy there are 5 elements of a great advertisement.

  • Attention grabbing
  • Trust development
  • Positive associations
  • The desire hook
  • Action motivator


For most advertising and commercial professionals, these all come naturally when developing an advertising campaign.  One of the key components to almost all of these elements though is what your ad has representing it visually.  Let’s talk about how good advertising photography and visuals impact each of these 5 elements.




Attention Grabbing

Grabbing your customers (or potential customers) attention is one of the most important factors when creating your advertising campaign.  The above image does just that for our fictitious tea company “Tea Rific”.  The viewer will be captured by all of the different elements of the ad.  You have a very casual father figure taking time out of his day for a cuppa, a happy and relaxed mother that watches on casually as their son jumps off the sofa onto the dad.  It’s a very funny, and most importantly, relatable photograph.  A great image, whether it is a photograph or a drawing, is the most effective way of grabbing your customers attention and getting them to delve deeper into your advertisement and product.


Trust Development

When it comes to the imagery used within advertising, this is one of the most often overlooked keys to a successful campaign.  How many times have you seen an avert that just doesn’t sit right with you?  Was something off putting about it?  This usually happens with smaller companies, or new companies trying to put together their first advertising campaign.  The reason is often the result of poorly chosen visual imagery used to represent the brand.  If you imagine a car sales ad and the main photograph being used is of an unkempt salesman the reader/viewer instantly associates this car dealership with unkempt, possibly sleazy salesmen.  Attention to detail in choosing your image, artists, or photographers is of great importance to your advertising campaign, and sadly it is one of the most frequently made mistakes.


Positive Associations

This is the exact opposite of the Trust Development key.  Your advertisement should have a positive affect on your customers.  It should be something they can relate too, and something they feel confident and trustworthy about.  Let’s take the image above again as an example.  The target market for “Tea Rific” is young families, and the chosen photograph for their ad will most certainly be something their target market can relate too.  I know for me (this is me and my family in the photo after all) I most certainly can relate.  Sometimes you need a break for a cup of tea, and young children never seem to take a break…ever!   Besides having an attention grabbing advertisement, having an ad that strikes a positive chord with your customers is one of the most powerful elements you can have in your advertising campaigns.  Besides our fake “Tea Rific” ad pictured above, think about ads that have had a positive affect on you.  For me they are ads like this Vans shoes advertisement, or as a photographer ads like this.  Giving your ads an image that affects your customer in a positive way is a very powerful key to effective advertising.


The Desire Hook Advertising Photography

The Desire Hook

The ability to have your customer view your ad and instantly desire your product is something every marketer strives to achieve.  This is often done with fantastic imagery, having a great photographer or illustrator can make a world of difference.  The above image is for another of our fictitious brands “builderz”.  Builderz is obviously aimed at toddlers and young children, and by using the photograph that we have this advertisement will definitely achieve the desire hook with it’s intended audience.  What young boy wouldn’t look at this photograph and not instantly want to have a Builderz product?  Using photographs and imagery that are compelling and offer the viewer a reason why their life will be better off with your product is what achieving the desire affect is all about.  In our Builderz ad above, we are telling young boys that they will be able to have amazing, big adventures with Builderz products.  In our Tea Rific ad, we are telling the targeted customer that no matter how hectic life gets, there’s always time for a nice cuppa…and a cup of tea that is worth sitting down for.


Action Motivator

Once you have told your story, and created a strong desire for your product using great images and photography, it’s time to turn that desire into action.  Sometimes creating that strong desire is enough of a motivator for your customer to buy your products or services, but sometimes your customer will need just a little bit more prodding.  Calls to action in your advertising don’t always have to be verbal or written.  Sometimes the actions seen in the visual component of your ad can be enough of a motivator.  If you run a cinema and your advertising photography shows a scene set inside a cinema, watching a film, tells a story, and creates desire your target customer will see that the advertisement already shows someone watching a film in a cinema…thus creating the motivator.   The same scenario holds true for our Tea Rific photograph.  The photograph tells a story, creates a positive reaction and desire.  It also shows the father having a cup of tea.  It might be that your customer is strongly affected by the advertising and goes out and buys Tea Rific tea then and there.  However, in this case your audience might need that little extra push and this is when you can verbally push them.  It can be as simple as “Visit tearific.co.uk for the very best tea in the UK.”


So there you have the 5 elements to a great advertising campaign and how having great imagery (photographers or illustrators) can have a massive impact on your advertising.


What are some of your favourite ads and why?  Post them below!