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Effective Online Ads Tell a Story

Posted Tuesday, July 29, 2008 by momscashblog | 15 Comments so far

I’ve gotten good feedback about the ad writing series… with good stats, comments, and some e-mails, so I’m going to show an example of an ad I found on the internet that I feel is quite effective because it tells a story and speaks to the emotions of the readers. I know I talk a lot about emotions with advertising, but if you really understand that every action we take… every decision we make in our lives is based on our emotions, then you can see why it is so important to use emotions in selling. Using a blog or a website to sell a product gives you a perfect opportunity to appeal to your customer’s emotions by telling a story (and it’s cheap!). The reason a story works so well for online advertising is because people use the internet to get information so they are in the “information gathering mode”. The customer is already searching for information so you are not forcing them to read. But you do have to compel them to want to read your ad, and you do have to get traffic and advertise… and you do have to try to grab their attention as soon as they look at your ad. Since I have experience in ad writing and I’ve posted about writing ads, I thought I’d show you an example of an ad that uses emotional motivators by telling a story.

For this example, I chose an ad that I didn’t think would intrude on any of my reader’s territory and that I happened to find as a consumer, I wasn’t looking for an ad (but I didn’t buy the product.) And, just so you know, I don’t have anything to do with  this ad whatsoever… I don’t know the person selling it and I’m not promoting the product. I just felt it would make a good example of using emotions in a story to sell your product. Also, as you will see I went through the same process a customer would use to purchase your product. If you’re thinking of selling a product or service you need to think like an advertiser… which means thinking like a customer!

 It’s important from an advertisers point of view to always be aware of who’s going to buy your product. Some ads work better on women’s emotions than they do on men’s or the other way around. I think this one would tend to be mostly for women and maybe the author intended it that way. If you find your ad is selling to only one group of people, you should try check out which emotions you are selling to and fix it.

I was looking up “Lyme Disease” on the internet because I removed a tick and later had symptoms and was diagnosed with Lyme Disease a few weeks ago. In the summer, I live in the woods of Maine where there’s a  problem with deerticks and Lyme Disease. I’ve had ticks on me before so I know not all ticks carry Lyme Disease. I also have a doctor in the family and she’s told me before not to bother going to the doctor just for a tickbite because he/she cannot do anything. (except charge you. lol)  You need to have symptoms for them to check for Lyme Disease, so I kept my eye on the area for about a week and since I felt good and had no rash I figured it was alright. Two weeks later I got horrible headaches and became very sick with flu-like symptoms and fever and the area started itching and hurt at the same time. When I saw the famous bulls eye rash, I went to the doctors and was diagnosed with Lyme and I’m now being treated with antibiotics. Since I caught it in time, it should be cured within a few more days and I won’t have any more problems from it.

Still, I wanted to know more about Lyme Disease so I began searching and while on a medical site, I came upon some ads for products and checked them out. I looked at a few text link ads on the sidebar and decided to show you this one as an example of how and why a story can get more attention than just telling what your product does.

Here’s the ad for an E-book that caught my attention more than the other ads I found that day: http://lymediseasecured.com/.  Upon first glance, you will see why I chose this for it’s emotional value and story telling to sell a product.  Put yourself in the place of a potential customer.. someone who has Lyme Disease and is looking for more information and possibly buy a product (info). This ad should show you how helpful it is to appeal to your customer’s emotions and to tell your story to get your ad noticed and sell a product.

Headline is compelling, hits an emotion, and encourages the reader to continue
The first thing you should notice are the headlines. As I said in Part II headlines and and should be long and they should be compelling… and this one certainly is more compelling than the other ads I saw about Lyme Disease! (lol)  It’s compelling because she managed to get SEX into her story  and mentions ”a sex crazed 60 year old woman” in the headline… Sex is one of the most powerful emotional motivators there is so used in the headline, it WILL get noticed!

It may seem a little weird and out of place, but you’ve got to admit that it does compel you to read on and find out what this is all about. Even if you aren’t interested in Lyme Disease, you might want to know more of the story. By using any word that hits our emotions you can make people read more. This headline definitely made me want to read more to find out what a sex crazed 60 year old had to do with Lyme Disease! lol (so it was a good move on the author’s part to get noticed, but not appropriate for all ads, of course.)

The Story starts with the problem: telling a story with “the problem and the solution” is the most effective way to appeal to the emotions of your customers. In this ad, first she gives some personal information which helps you to identify with her and she also gives a little glimpse into what her product can do. But after that she starts her story with the problem. The problem is her struggle with Lyme Disease and symptoms SHE had which some who suffer from LD might identify with. But there’s some symptoms I’ve never heard of with Lyme Disease.. and some that were left out. The ad told of HER symptoms… (possibly the ones her product can cure.)

The story has emotional value:  This ad appeals to one’s basic emotions of health and quality of life, fun, feeling good and happiness which is the state of emotional health EVERYONE wants to be in.  It also appeals to the emotions of sex and relationships in an indirect way by telling about the “sex crazed” woman who told her these secrets! (I think someone’s been brushing up on emotional mortivators! lol) The author had Lyme Disease and her story is about her struggle with it so others with the same problems should relate to it on an emotional level.  A story should have emotional value to be effective and keep the reader interested. Just telling the story of your product won’t work unless you give the reader an emotional reason for wanting it. 

The Story gives the solution to the problem: She then uses her story to tell  the solution last. The solution is the product.. Also, the solution should be the emotions your customers will feel after they use your product or information. In this ad, the solution is a remedy for the symptoms of Lyme Disease and he meds used for it… but even if you don’t have Lyme Disease the remedy sounds emotionally appealing for a better, happier life. Telling a story is the best way to speak to the emotions of your customers. When you tell a story, your solution is ALWAYS your product and you have a chance to let them know WHY they need your product.

There are many different ads I could have chosen, but where I had just come across this one, I decided I’d use it as an example of appealing to emotions in your ads by way of a story. I also sent the url to a friend out of state who has Lyme Disease that wasn’t caught in time and she said she was very interested!  I’m not endorsing the ad, and I’m not saying it’s the most well written ad out there, but it does tell a story and it appeals to the emotions of potential customers. Telling a story with the problem first and the solution (your product) after is much more effective than just telling your customers what the product can do for them. Whatever you’re selling has to appeal to your customer’s emotions to make them sit up and take notice.


Beth July 29th, 2008 (12:33 pm)

LOL, JJ, That ad is funny…..I just had to read it all! I took ad marketing last semester and he said editorials are the best. I think this ad would be considered reframing. Take something bad and make it look good by showing it in a new light. A better sex life with Lyme Disease. LOLOL It is true about the emotions but the ad has to be written right.

Mia July 29th, 2008 (4:58 pm)

OK, this really makes me want to do my own eBook. I am a model so I know alot of industry secrets. I wanted to do a blog but I refuse to put any photos out there! (If you only knew how many photos ger stolen and used on blogs, it is illegal but jerks do it all the time) Anyway, how do I go about writing an eBook?

sarah July 30th, 2008 (1:07 am)

girlie – will you check your email? I think my messages are getting lost in your spam again

jj - Moms Cash Blog July 30th, 2008 (2:51 am)

Sarah… Hey girl, sorry, last night my touchpad died so I had to buy another laptop today. They’re transferring my programs and stuff onto it and I won’t get it back til sometime tomorrow. I’ll write to ya then. :) (lucky I have great neighbors who let me use their comp! lol)

Hi Beth… Yes, it could be “reframing” or solving a problem you didn’t know you had! lol I think it hit emotional buttons and I’d buy it if I had any of those issues. (in fact I will buy it if my rash doesn’t go away!)

Mia… Do you mean beauty tricks? Great idea! If you get a blog, there’s a lot of beauty product ads you could put on. An E-book with beauty secrets would be great also (I’d buy one! lol) I’m not sure how the E-book process goes but there should be lots of info online. Write to me if you want: jj@momscashblog.com.

Jackie July 30th, 2008 (4:35 am)

Hi JJ,

Lyme disease scares me. I am a hypochondriac and all the symptoms listed mock so many other things……worlds best doctors and they can’t outsmart a little bug! hmmm My computer also crashed I am proud! I reinstalled the operating system. DOS asked me a few questions and I must have got them right….which is cool, I can still visit!

Mia July 30th, 2008 (6:31 pm)

JJ@moms, thanks for answering me. I mean I could write an eBook or a blog about how to get into the modeling industry but I know beauty secrets. I could use them in a book or blog. thanks for saying I can write to you. Will do.

JJ - Moms Cash Blog July 30th, 2008 (11:28 pm)

Hi Jackie…I know what you mean, if someone doesn’t know they had a tickbite or they have no rash it’s hard to diagnose. There should be a vaccine for it by now.
Great that you got your computer back up and running by yourself! I saw the comment you left on the WordPress.org/.com post where you said you plan to start with WP.com. Did you download it and choose a theme yet?

Hi Mia… That would make a great blog and/or E-book! I’m sure you would have lots of interesting things to talk about. It would be very helpful for others who want to get into modeling. You’re welcome to e-mail me anytime. (I’m interested to know more about the photos.)

Hey Sarah gurrl… I have my new laptop and there were over 350 new messages waiting in my web mail! lol Yours is in there so I will get back to ya soon! (thanks for letting me know you sent one, that helps.)

Jackie July 31st, 2008 (3:30 am)

Hi JJ,

wwww.proudspinster.wordpress.com is the site I have started. For the most part I am talking to myself but that’s O.K. I’m not very impressed with the templates being offered. Do you know what software or code is used to create these templates. Maybe I will look into learning some of that. Like you, I would like to offer people something usefull. I am following your advice though and just being myself!

JJ - Moms Cash Blog July 31st, 2008 (3:43 pm)

Jackie… we’re all talking to ourselves most of the time anyways! lol (I’m still finding my voice…) If you have your site up, make sure you put your site’s www in the “Website url” field when you make a comment on other blogs so they can visit you. If you do it here you’ll see it’s the green comments that have a link. You can do a lot of networking with your comments.
As far as the templates go, no, I don’t know what code they use and that’s the beauty of it to me! lol I’m no “techie” but I learn what I need to know by reading other blogs. Glad you’re up and running… (put your url in your next comment and I’ll come to your site and say “hi”.)

JJ - Moms Cash Blog July 31st, 2008 (3:54 pm)

Jackie… And yes, its great if you have something to offer people, another incentive to come to your blog like an e-book or whatever you are into. I bought this blog because it had a great tutorial. If you’re into making themes that would be a great incentive for people to come.

Jackie August 1st, 2008 (5:21 am)

Hey JJ,

I posted my url and I’d be happy to have you stop by. There is no main theme yet. Just practicing! I am still getting a kick out of being googled. I will look into e-books because I do like to write. Just curious, how are the antibiotics working. I read somewhere that at least 4 weeks you should be on them. Keep an ey on those doctors! I don’t trust them!

Robert Cyr August 1st, 2008 (12:25 pm)

Hey Jackie —– Way to go on your blog. Listen- You want to get really excited? Go to Google and type this in: “site:proudspinster.wordpress.com”. Doing this will show you how many of your blogs URL’s are indexed. The more urls you have indexed translates into more traffic for your blog!

Right now as of this comment Google has indexed 20 of your URL’s. Keeping following JJ as she has some great information on her blog….

JJ - Moms Cash Blog August 1st, 2008 (3:41 pm)

Way to go Jackie, I’ll stop by today! I would have stopped by anyways after you told us your url… but when I see the “link” to a comment then I know a new blogger is ready for company! (I think some people are waiting until everything is perfect before they link their comments, but you gotta start some time… and there is no such thing as perfection. lol)Great you got googled!

I had to take meds for only 2 weeks. I feel fine now and rash is gone! I took my last antibiotic yesterday… which is good because we’re having a big weekend party… a local rock festival type thing. Of course I don’t plan on drinking for 3 days (lol) but it would be nice to have a beer or two! It’s outdoors and in the woods so I will spray myself with tick repellant and do a body check every night! lol

JJ - Moms Cash Blog August 1st, 2008 (4:17 pm)

Hey Robert.. Thanks for the info you gave to Jackie about google… it was helpful to me also. I found out that my google site map got disconnected a while back and I’m wondering what the ramifications are. I think it happened in June when that chunk of data got transferred from one server to another and I lost 2 posts in the process. Do you think that can have an affect on the Google sitemap? I’m thinking it disconnected the site map since theres no link to the posts now. My hosting company says the 2 posts and some comments got eaten up because I posted DURING the transfer process. (who knew I wasn’t supposed to post!) MCB PageRank really dropped, but my traffic stats stayed steady in WordPress (in fact they’ve gone up!) I’m afraid some Pings also disconnected because of that. I’d better pay more attention to Google. thanks, jj.

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