What Not to Do

Now that you have some tips on how to make a good ad, you’re about ready to get started. But before you do, we’d like to say a word or two about bad ads: don’t make them. (Okay… 3 words.) The internet is littered with far too many embarrassingly bad ads, and we don’t want to contribute more. So here’s what not to do:

• Don’t lie
• Don’t mislead
• Don’t exaggerate
“Get thin without exercise!” “Make $10,000 In 1 Hour!” “Attract Any Woman Without Saying a Word!”
Please. Schlocky ads are a blight on the internet. They give advertising—and business in general—a black eye, making it that much harder for good ads to break through and succeed. If they “work,” they work once—and create dissatisfied customers who tend not to trust ads even more than they did before.

• Don’t use disgusting images
No gross pictures of belly fat or rotting yellow teeth, please.

• Don’t misspell words
Nothing says amateur faster than a headline with a misspelled word. So double-check you’re headlines. (Uh… your headlines.)

• Don’t use copyrighted materials
No pictures of Marilyn Monroe or any other celebrities, dead or alive. You want to use a picture of the “Go to jail, go directly to jail” card from Monopoly? Sorry, you can’t.

* Don’t throw away your stock photo receipts. If you buy a stock photo, be sure to keep proof that you purchased it.

• Don’t steal other people’s ideas or headlines
There’s no law against this; it’s just bad form. You’re a creative… create. That’s your job.

• Don’t talk down to your audience
The audience is your Mom. Your boss. Your best friend. Treat them with the intelligence and respect they deserve.

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