You all hit the nail on the head with your comments about the Lowe’s ad. BOOM! Everything you said was dead-on.
Now allow me to simplify it all…
The #1 problem with this ad is that the headline gives no reason to read further.
I don’t blame the (crappy) body copy for this ad’s poor performance because it’s UNlikely anyone ever reached it! It’s kind of like blamingÂ an airline for not making it to Los Angeles in time because of all the zillions of other planes waiting to take off… when your plane never pulled out of theÂ gate!
I guess we can say the headline is its FIRST failure. But what a failure that is, right? Can’t we say, then, that the headline is the most important part of any ad? Of course. Because a poor headline can kill even the most amazingly constructed ad that’s packed with benefits, credibility, and a potent call-to-action.
But you’ve seen this before, right? Some slick ad agency or in-house marketing department creates as ad the way they THINK they should be created: CLEVER. Something gave them the idea that a CLEVER ad is a GOOD ad. Where the hell did that thinking come from? It came from the “image school” of advertising. The non-direct-response agencies who are apparently more concerned with creative expression than sales.
Think about it! This ad didn’t come from nowhere. It passed across many people’s desks… was carefully read by top Â executives responsibleÂ for the marketing controls of a company serving over 14 million customers and 1,717 stores throughout the U.S. (stores in all 50 states) and Canada. They all approved it! They all thought, “WOW! So clever! This ad is worth spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to run!” No one stopped and said, “Huh!? You’re kidding, right? Who the hell taught you to write ad copy?! Rip it up and start over!!”
“But Drew! YOU don’t have 14 million customers! YOU don’t have 1,717 stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. THEY apparently know better than you!”
They sure do. They know how to operate a massive chain of home- improvement stores far better than I’ll ever hope (or want) to.
But trust me. This ad isn’t the reason for their success.
No AdAutopsy is needed on this one… you all said as much as I possibly could. You threw the patient on the table yourself… grabbed your own scalpel… and went to work. (Nice job.)
But it’s those who haven’t yet trained themselves to see the “violations” that really need to pay special attention to this blog. Because once they can spot the problems in other people’s ads… they’ll see them instantly in their own.
Meaning? They’ll save a fortune in placing one “dud” ad after another. And–more importantly–make a heck of a lot more money as well.
I’ll have another “What’s Wrong With This Ad” soon. Keep your eyeballs peeled!
And, most importantly… thanks so much for reading. <HANDSHAKE>