Creating effective advertising. Part 1.

By Wendy Rall Volume 4 Article 2

“Can’t we just use the back of the brochure as our advertising?” This question was posed to me last week and inspired me to share this experience with you. One of our awesome clients in cultivation is interested in running one-third (1/3) page magazine print ads. We completed the branding, printed cards, and brochures to date; and we are about to start on packaging designs. The client’s idea to use the back of the brochure and send it to various magazines sounded like a sensible idea for the following reasons:

  • The proportions already designed are close to most 1/3 page magazine ads.
  • All of the contact information is included.
  • The logo is included.
  • The owner’s headshots are included.
  • The brand image is well represented.

I was interested to know why the business owners would want to use the back of the brochure as opposed to creating a custom advertising design. The response was solely because the back of the brochure “looked nice” and they thought it would be good for an ad.

This is where working with professionals that have knowledge and experience in creating effective advertising comes in! You want your ad space to WORK for you. Let’s review the original concept for this ad and potential missteps. The client was ready to place an ad that would have missed the opportunity to do the following:

  • Include a photo of packaging consumers can expect.
  • Objective: Brand recognition.
  • Include a photo of the actual flower itself .
  • Objective: Representation of quality.
  • Include national contact information.
  • Objective: Representation of stability.
  • Include a very brief story or bullet points about the brand.
  • Objective: Representation of experience, tying a human element to the brand and making an important connection.

Effective Advertising

In a natural progression, the ads that run will be created once the package design is completed for the company. The 1/3 page ad should feature the brand’s visual imagery (with the logo and sub text on top), the featured packaging, and contact information that will be prominently placed. An image of the flower would be inset or included in a still life setting. This design will visually attract more readers than the design from the back of the brochure. The client will get more value from their ad space.

Image Advertising

Now there is another route that we could take if this particular company wanted to place an advertisement immediately. Should the deadline not allow for packaging design and photography, a simple image ad may be created. This ad would have an objective of driving traffic to the website using the brand’s visual image and feature the following:

  • logo
  • contact information
  • tag line or brief introduction
  • website and all social media addresses.

On another important note: sizing and production is critical. The size of the back of the brochure is not the exact size nor proportion of most 1/3 page magazine advertisements. If this panel of the brochure is provided to the magazine, it would be rendered unusable. A reputable magazine should inform their client that the ad needs to be recreated to the proper proportions. You take a risk, however, when you provide an improperly formatted advertisement to the magazine production artist, who must “stretch” your ad to fit. You do not want this to happen. In a following article, I will further discuss the need for advertisements to be custom sized for each magazine.

After hearing our recommendations, the owners of the cultivation center fully understood that they would get more out of their advertising dollars by creating a custom design versus the design on the back of the brochure. Please be on the look-out for a follow up article showing the contrast between the back of the brochure design and the ad that is under development.

Volume 4 Article 2: This article is part of a series found on as well as