Ad Creative That Works

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For online business owners, creating memorable advertisements that sell can be quite a challenge. They have to choose whether they want to save money and make the ads themselves or cough up some cash and outsource to an agency. It’s a tough choice, and it can have a drastic impact on a company’s direction.

Kent Lloyd, the Director of Harmon Brothers University, joined Daniel and Robby for the first episode of the eComm Growth Show’s third season to demystify creating remarkable advertising campaigns.

Harmon Brothers is responsible for some of the most recognizable advertisements of the last few years. They’ve worked with brands like Poo-Pourri, Squatty Potty, Vivint, Purple, and Lume. The latter went from a $1 million company to $32 million in the first year it worked with Harmon Brothers.

Kent credits a seven-step formula, as well as humor – a Harmon Brothers trademark – for the noteworthy success. He teaches the formula through Harmon Brothers University, but he was generous enough to give a crash course during his interview.

The seven-steps begin with a hook before addressing the problem and presenting a solution. The fourth step is a call to action to ensure the viewers are buying the product. If the audience isn’t convinced yet, they move to step five, where the ad resolves doubts and establishes credibility. Step six is a second call to action, followed by the seventh and least important step, an outro.

“My whole job as an advertiser is to make sure that my target audience isn’t having to think at all during the ad. I don’t want to be two steps ahead of them. I want to be holding their hand and walking them through the entire process.” (19:55)

Harmon Brothers sets itself apart from other agencies by breaking and rewriting common ad rules. Rather than fitting perfectly within a commercial mold, they prioritize holding their audience’s attention. When the rulebook says to keep ads short and digestible, Harmon Brothers creates a six-minute Hallmark movie spoof for Lume.

“Nobody’s running six-minute ads, but the rule on that one is as long as it’s entertaining and engaging, people are going to stick around. Because, on social media you’re not paying by the second to get your ad in front of people, you’re paying per view.” (9:46)

The agency is also unique in the way it prioritizes comedy as a means of holding the audience’s attention. From the company’s inception, adopting humor as a sales tool was core to its success. As the agency grew, it hired and entrusted comedians to punch up jokes in their advertisements.

“Something we always live by is it’s way easier to turn a comedian into a marketer than it is to turn a marketer into a comedian.” (28:29)

While humor sits high on the agency’s priority list, it will always be secondary to sales.

“The model that we always follow at Harmon Brothers is sales first, art second. So, even if it would be good, if it doesn’t help build the sale or the credibility of your offer, it’s worth leaving aside.” (15:03)

Are you an online business owner wanting to establish brand awareness, but you aren’t sure whether to hire an agency or do it yourself?

Kent recommends that companies making less than $1 million a year in revenue utilize Harmon Brothers University to learn to make their own ads. On the other hand, larger businesses might look to work with an agency.

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