1. SUCCESS OR FAILURE. If the ad works, it’s  great, no matter how it looks or sounds. If it’s not working, it is wretchedly bad, no matter how  good it looks or sounds.
  2. FOCUS ON THE MAGIC WAND QUESTION. Ask: “What specific result do we want from advertising?” Caution: answer must be specific and singular! Wishing for an increase in overall business is too generic.  Wishing to increase deli sales at a grocery store is specific.
  3. KISS. Keep it simple, stupid. Simple enough for a 5th grader.
  4. KISS CONSISTENTLY. Develop a standard look, feel, and style that repeats itself in every ad. McDonald’s always uses the Golden Arches.
  5. KISS WITHOUT CLICHES, BUT WITH STRENGTH. Purge them if it just sounds like blah, blah, blah. (Friendly professionals serving the community’s needs with great service since 1956.) Then KISS with the one product or service that is the strong seller or the high profit.
  6. THE SOUND OF SILENCE. With any video, on the Web or TV, test the ad with no sound. You want to be sure the message is clear even if  the sound is muted.
  7. SOS SPELLS DISASTER. Selling Obvious Stuff (SOS) is a waste. A cosmetics clinic selling the concept of beauty is selling the obvious.  Instead, sell the reasons to visit our advertiser: “Betty’s Botox lasts longer.”
  8. IDENTIFY THE POINT OF ENTRY. Identify the reason they contact you for the first time. If an air conditioning dealer in Las Vegas advertises replacement units, it may be a mistake. Why? The Point of Entry is a call for an immediate repair. Advertise that. It will lead to the replacements.
    • Consistent spokesperson or spokes-animal, or a theme with a twist.
    • Claim to some unique position, niche or brand identity.
    • Call to action.
    • Web and social media presence
  10. TAGS ARE FOR DOGS. Avoid co-op ads that only allow a tag. Avoid generic national footage or photos with little localized content. This is increasingly true with websites. We want to see and/or hear you. Make sure we see your name/logo in a large size. (Don’t tag your billboard with a small name/logo that is barely visible on the bottom corner.)
  11. TEST-DRIVE THE SPOT before you air it, or print it, or place it in digital media to see if a test subject can glance at it and get the message you’re trying to convey.
  12. THE NEED FOR SPEED. If the targeted customer usually wants something fast, promise fast.
  13. CHEESE TO CHEESE – STEAK TO STEAK. If your targeted customer is cheesy, give them cheesy ads, and vice-versa.
  14. USE LOCAL TALENT. Most cities have local acting groups. The acting groups are loaded with talent at small fees.