Every week, Boost brings you insights straight from the writers in our Creative Network. Writers share tips on how to inject more creativity into ads, best practices for writing ad copy, and more. This week, Dylan Barmmer, pen name “wordisborn” who has been an active writer in the Network for over five years, explains what old school advertising can teach us about digital ad success.

Here at this blog, we’ve written before about the enduring, undying power of old-school advertising tactics, techniques, methods and mediums.


Now, we’d like to ask a very direct and compelling question:


What can these well-established, tried-and-true advertising methods teach us about creating and crafting effective online ads in 2016 – and beyond?


But why settle for just one answer? After all, online advertising success is all about testing, experimenting, and options. Here are a few different takeaways to consider:


*The Headline Matters Most: It doesn’t matter if it’s a print ad in a 1950s newspaper, a billboard overlooking a 1980s highway, or a Google AdWords ad on a 2016 webpage. A great headline is a great headline. And few things can get real results like a great headline. You need to hook your reader – right away. You need to captivate your customer – immediately. And that all starts and ends with your headline. Read our previous blog post to learn more and get great tips.


*Celebrity Still Sells: In the days of yore, celebrity pitchmen voiced radio and television ads or just dramatically posed with a product, lending instant credence and gravitas to the brand they stood behind. We still see that today, but a celebrity Tweeting or Instagramming about his or her chosen brand is probably the more obvious avenue now – even if that can also go horribly wrong. The bottom line? Hitching your brand’s wagon to a popular famous person is never a bad idea. Of course, it’s never a low-cost consideration, either.


*Build Trust, Then Hold It: Then and now, when a consumer decides to purchase your product or services, he or she needs to feel like they can trust in the quality of what you’re providing. More classic advertising executions used to speak directly to this ongoing, ever-evolving relationship between brand and consumer. Today, this kind of a dialogue is usually more subtle, and the need for trust is implied. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less important. So convince them they can trust you. Then show them you mean what you say by delivering a great experience. This is how you build what people today like to call “brand equity.”


*Get Right to the Point: Back in the day, an American had the luxury of kicking back, cracking open a newspaper or flipping on the radio dial, and leisurely digesting what was presented to him or her. Today? Not so much. Constant advertising and information bombards us from all angles and mediums, wherever we go, at all hours of the day. Of course, it was important to captivate your audience back then. Now? It’s even more vital. So don’t waste time or mince words. Get right to your message. And make it a good one.


Get More from Boost


These are just a few helpful and timeless tips for creating more powerful, memorable, and effective digital ads. If you’re a writer looking for even more ad writing experience, you’re welcome to join our network of more than 1,000 global creative.


If you’re an advertiser looking to employ the power of a wide-ranging network of experienced and talented writers – and test different messages, voices, and styles of ad creative – you can utilize our powerful combination of software and people to drive increased ad relevance at scale. As the leading creative optimization platform, we’ve delivered more than $1 billion in optimized digital ads – for more than 100 leading global brands.

Contact us today to see how we can help you source, text, and optimize your digital ad creative across search, social, image, and mobile!