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Sales Ad Critique – Number One!

Posted on the 12 October 2012 by Jarvisedwards @jarvis_edwards

Sales Ad Critique – Number One!Sales Ad Critique Number 1 — Bring it on!

As promised months ago, it’s time to delve into a sales ad, critique it and rewrite it. Time to display a bit of my copywriting chops, if you don’t mind.

We are all affected on a daily basis by written advertisements, whether we realize it or not.  My job as blog author is to keep an eye out for “problem” ads, sales pages, web pages and more. So here’s the first, but definitely not the last–critique. Company and product names have been removed to protect the “innocent.” Let’s dig in…


 Crystal-Clear SIP Technology for Custom Enterprise Call Solutions

[Company name omitted] is the premier provider of robust, scalable solutions with our top-tier [Product name omitted] SIP technology. Our engineers have designed mission-critical solutions for enterprises poised to reach new heights with their dynamic infrastructure. Call quality is unprecedented, jitter is nearly nonexistent and packet loss is minimized due to automated, double-authenticating stability controls.

[Company name omitted] delivers channel partners with turnkey equipment from an industry leader. With superior customer service and technical support. We engage our resellers with front-end solutions and back-end account management tools for obtaining vertical positioning and increasing revenues.”

Wow. Did you read that? Not very good was it? Do you feel as dumb as I, just trying to process what the ad meant, let alone what’s being sold? That ad was in a local publication that I read. I couldn’t believe it.

All jokes aside, [company name omitted] won’t be banking the big bucks with that piece. And, if that ad is any indication of the writer’s competency or connection to his/her target audience, disappointing sales are well on the way.

Now, I’m not one to dwell on a problem without proposing a solution, so let’s get into picking this ad apart and making it readable—shall we?

Let us begin:

Note#1: “Double-authenticating stability controls?” Really?! Nothing special at all. Just another phrase they coined that explains the exact same technology used in other competing products!

Step#1:  Change that sleep-inducing headline to something more descriptive, yet less “stuffy.”

Step#2:  Rework that first paragraph! Why? It’s simple. This ad bombards you with jargon—jargon that doesn’t necessarily support the argument as to why the product should be included in your choice of options in the first place. Furthermore, jitter and packet loss might be used ad nauseam in IT circles, but are foreign nouns to typical readers of this ad’s publication. Not to mention the…words.


Crystal-Clear and Reliable Phone Technology Tailored to Your Business

[Company name omitted] is Anywhere, California’s most popular SIP phone technology. Our phone systems allow your organization to grow with business demands using top-of-the-line technology. Your company’s technology needs are constantly changing, and our engineers have the solutions for incorporating our technology painlessly, when it’s time to expand. Production will increase thanks to our crystal-clear call quality and unmatched reliability, with no call distortion or delay.”

[Company name omitted] provides our [product] resellers with the support and service to ensure their success. We provide management tools and resources to appeal to your specific markets, thus increasing your earning potential.”

Does the rewrite speak benefits to the reader and not just tech-ridden features? You bet.

Does it speak to the tech-savvy buyer as well as the (clueless) office secretary who is looking for the best deal, per her boss’s request? Checkmark.

Does it get straight to the point; why to buy, without the typical “I’m very smart, let me prove it” jargon? Uh-huh.

Sales Ad Critique – Number One!

The original version was obviously written by someone who believed their technical know-how, and strong command of English tech-jargon would be all that’s need to seal the deal and reel in the customers. They just missed one thing: customers have to KNOW what you’re selling to buy what you’re selling—for starters.

So, the morale(s) of this story is:

  1. Avoid using too much “tech-speak” unless mandatory (its usually isn’t)
  2. Being too clever is gimmicky and off-putting
  3. Write ads for your customers, not for yourself
  4. Research your prospects for direction, not other (bad) ads
  5. No one cares how good your company is unless it benefits them

Sorry to cut it short (sarcasm again). Until our next sales critique,

Happy Advertising!

Jarvis Edwards  – Commercial Copywriting

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