Advertising For Artists – Creating A Great Ad

In the previous articles: Advertising for Artists – Elements of an Effective Ad, Advertising for Artists – The Advertising Medium, and Advertising for Artists – Developing and Placing Your Ad we took a look at the basics of creating and placing an advertisement for your art business. In this article we will take a look at some ideas on how to make a “Great” advertisement.

Each day we are bombarded with literally thousands of sounds and images in the form of advertisements trying to get us to notice a product or idea and then get us to take some form of action – buying a product or supporting an idea or cause.

Try this experiment

Try to remember an advertisement you have seen in the last day or so. The ad could be on a billboard, television, magazine, newspaper, radio or on the internet. If you can’t remember one you are probably not alone. If you can remember an ad take a moment and think about why you remember it. Here are some reasons you may remember it:

  • You are interested in what the ad was saying to you
  • It had a great design or message that caught your attention
  • You connect with the product, idea or mood the ad creates
  • It was so bad that you couldn’t help notice it and you probably won’t respond in a favorable manner to the advertisement

Develop an “Eye” for Advertising

Start to develop an “eye” for the advertisements that you are exposed to – you should have plenty of opportunities! As you look at these ads be sure to take note of what catches your attention, what moves you and why. Also take notice of the ads you don’t like and figure out what turns you off. If an advertisement is effective for you it will likely be effective for your customers.

Connect with your Customers

What connects with you should connect with your customers – after all isn’t that a big part of producing your art is all about? You advertising message may be your first “point of touch” with your customers and prospects before they have a chance to take a look at your art. In many cases (such as a show or exhibition) your customers may see your art first and your advertising serves to tell them more about your work and keep you in their mind. If you don’t connect with your customers or prospects they will surely be on to the next thing.

Use a Strong and Effective Message in All of Your Advertisements

Your advertising comes in many forms and each has to be strong. Some examples of advertising that carries your message include:

  • Business cards
  • Brochures, flyers and informational pieces
  • Advertisements in print, broadcast or electronic mediums
  • Websites and online galleries
  • Signage, banners, and billboards
  • Your public relations efforts
  • Your “elevator speech” or what you tell prospects

Elements of a Great Ad

Most great ads have all or some of the following elements in common:

  • They have great design, production and execution
  • They get noticed with great images, catchy phrases and other elements
  • They connect with their audience and communicate to them
  • They make their audience feel something
  • They may be entertaining but are always impactful
  • They make you want to find out more or make a purchase
  • They get to the core of a product, service or idea
  • The idea or concept is strong and there is a sense of purpose
  • They fit into the culture of their audience

Create a Great Ad for Your Art Business!

Creating a great ad takes Creativity! Think outside the box, do something new that connects with your audience. I many ways, good advertising IS art. Put your creative skills to work and create a great ad for your art business.

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About Neil McKenzie

Neil McKenzie is an author, educator and consultant to artists and arts organizations. He is the author of The Artist’s Business and Marketing ToolBox – How to Start, Run and Market a Successful Arts or Creative Business available in softcover from Barnes & Noble and Amazon and as an eBook from iTunes, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. He has developed and teaches the course “Artrepreneurship” at the Center for Innovation at Metropolitan State University of Denver, and is also a visiting professor at University College at the University of Denver. Neil has over 30 years’ experience as a management consultant and marketing executive, working with some of the world’s top brands. Neil is a frequent lecturer to artists and arts organizations, a guest columnist for Colorado Biz Magazine, where he covers the creative sector of the economy, and the author of several articles for Americans for the Arts, a national arts organization. Follow Neil on Twitter: @neilmckenzphoto