You’re the account manager for an advertising agency that has just acquired a new account named American RVs. American RVs was established in 1999 and has been struggling to gain market share. You’ve been assigned the task of creating a new ad campaign for one of the three models of recreational vehicles that American RV produces.
The three models are
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■ Econoline (lowest cost)
■ Midline (mid-cost)
■ Highline (most expensive)
Your assignment is to choose one of the three models and develop a print ad that will lead to increased market share for American RVs.
To begin, consider how your choice of model will affect the rest of your project. First you’ll have to research the target market for your model choice. Your choice of model will influence which age group and income level you’ll try to reach, what your major selling points will be, and in which magazine you place your ad.
You’ll also need to do some research on the RV industry & determine who American RV’s 2 major competitors would be. Through your research, determine the following about the top 2 competitors.
■ What are their strengths and weaknesses?
■ How effective is their advertising?
Use your research and the advertising principles you’ve learned to create an effective print ad. You’re limited to creating one ad and including it in only one magazine of your choice.
Writing a Plan
Using this worksheet as a guide, develop a plan for your project and then create a magazine ad for American RVs. Follow the sequence indicated here. Your plan and design should address the following questions:
1. Where are you coming from?
List the advertising objectives you’ve decided on. Then summarize the copy platform in a few words and make notes on the reasons for your decisions.
2. What kind of visual technique would help this style most?
Sketch an ad layout and write a rough draft for the text. Look critically at your visual device. Do you get attention right away with your graphic? Try to make it as effective as a cymbal crash or a cannon shot—you have to break through a lot of magazine clutter! Consider how you might use color, space & print style to increase its impact.
3. Is there a single “big idea” around which the ad is based?
Try to develop one—a big phrase or a shout, a really big visual explosion, or a unique trick or device.
4. Is your ad in good taste?
Keep your target audience in mind and make sure your ad appeals to its values and reflects its cultural dynamics.
5. Is the idea clear and expressed in simple words? If not, redo your copy to make it simple and direct. As a test, ask yourself if readers would understand what you were trying to say if they just glimpsed the ad from the corner of their eye.
Creating a Magazine Ad
Having chosen your American RV model and considered your target market and the competition, you’re ready to begin designing a print advertisement that will increase the company’s market share.
Using what you’ve learned and referring to the text, create an ad suitable for the magazine you’ve chosen. Include text and graphics that effectively convey your message. You may use photographs, clip art, or your own sketches to illustrate your concept. However, your finished ad must look professional and polished.
When you’ve finished your design, you may want to do what many copywriters do—start over and choose a completely different style or approach. Keep producing new ways to do the layout until you’ve run out of ideas. Then go back and look critically at what you’ve created. Decide which one is best or combine the best parts of two or three. Then submit a single ad that represents your best effort.
Before you make the final adjustments to your project, try to imagine an outsider examining your material and asking critical questions. Does your design hold up under this kind of examination?
Does the main idea have power?
Does the ad personalize or draw the prospect in?
Is it involving or convincing as it unfolds?
Does the ad have impact?
Can this ad command attention, stop readers/viewers, and make them pay attention?
Does it draw them in so they want to learn more?
Does the ad have originality, or have we seen something like it before?
Could we substitute a competitor’s name for ours and have a similar ad, or have we found something unique to our product that separates us from the others?
Does the ad nudge readers/viewers to act and have we included a way for our prospects to act on the product offer now?
Is the style appealing and appropriate to the product?
Does the ad inform and communicate, delivering the important product benefits and factual information?
What part gets the most attention? What part stirs interest? What lends credibility? What fixes desire?
Your instructor will use the following criteria to evaluate your project:
1. Describe your model choice and target market (15 Points)
ü What age group are you trying to reach?
ü What income levels are you appealing to?
ü Provide evidence to back your decisions.
ü Explain what determined your model choice.
2. Identify your two main competitors (15 Points)
ü What are their strengths? Weaknesses?
ü How effective is their advertising?
3. Create your own print ad (70 Points)
ü What is the main selling point?
ü Does your ad appeals to your target audience?
ü What magazine did you choose? Why?
ü How will the ad accomplish your market share gain objective?
ü What kind of image are you projecting?
SUBMITTING YOUR PROJECT
To submit your project, make sure you include the following:
1. A 4 page paper that explains the development of your project.
Using the instructions given in the Process section as a guide to preparing your paper, explain how your ad meets the criteria. Include background and planning information. Make sure it meets all the evaluation criteria.
The paper should be typed in a standard, 12-point font, double-spaced.
2. Your finished print ad. Produce your ad using a computer program.
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