ADvise Articles for Media Magazine
Written by Sam Harmon


There we were, my elderly Dad and I, planted on the couch watching the OSU Beavers/Notre Dame Irish football game. In a between mouthfuls of Cheeto’s and Beaver touchdowns, a commercial for a new Playstation game came on the TV. Pointing at the screen with his Orange-powdered finger, my Dad asked me, “Why was that last commercial so loud and obnoxious?”. I took a handful of Cheeto’s, filled my mouth to stall and think, then said “well Pa, to the kids that would be interested in the product, it was an awesome commercial”.

Effective advertisements are based on your ability to communicate in your target market’s language. It’s really no different than if you travelled to Japan to negotiate a sale. What you say and how you say it could potentially land a sizeable contract or get you thrown out of the country. Literally or symbolically, learn the language or find a qualified interpreter.

Communicating in your target markets language can be difficult to execute when you personally live and breathe your business. You may not understand why throngs of money-tossing buyers aren’t noticing your ads and re-routing Tri-Met to your front door. If they only knew of all the life-changing benefits...all of the incredible features...and all of the amazing savings they could enjoy, you would be livin’ large. Unfortunately, if your advertising doesn’t grab their attention in the first place with relatable enticements, game over.

So here’s basically all you have to do; identify your target market and learn about them. Speak in their special language. How? Go to them. Read about them. Visit with them. Ask them questions.Engage yourself in their interests/ events/trade shows...BE THE BALL.!

One easy and affordable way to do this is to buy magazines that are targeted toward them. Which magazines? ask them. Read it from cover to cover. Notice the colors, the wording, the images, the typestyles, the headlines... everything. And by all means, look at all of the ads. Then, when you feel you understand them better, entice them with images and stimulus that turns them on and that they will RESPOND to. Again: if you don’t grab their attention in the first place...

Learning more about your target market is a very selfless journey, demanding you to step out of your personal stimulus and honoring others. And the process will result in your own growth and your businesses. Plus, it’s a lot of fun. So, if you are targeting teens, slip on a pair of mid-butt baggy pants, go see “Save the last dance” and grab a mag at the mall. And don’t worry too much about what my dad is going to think.


If you have any questions about your advertising,
Sam Harmon can be reached at Impact Advertising Services: 503-233-4408.