Message Strategy In Advertising

The creative process when advertising should first start with the Message Strategy – what does the ad need to say and what is the major selling argument. This then flows into the Big Idea – the concept or theme that brings the strategy to life. This gives the message context and meaning to the consumer. Finally the end of the process is Execution – how to say it and the different appeals and techniques used to create the ad.

There are 4 different types of messages which can be categorised in creating a message strategy – product / service / planned / unplanned messages. Each of these messages need to fit within the consistency triangle where everything the business says, does and confirms is all constant with each other to form strong brand integrity.

Message strategy is all about finding the connection between the consumer and the product, and doing this better than the competition. It is assumed that the business owner already has knowledge on what their product means to consumers and its functional characteristics but they must also be aware of the companies’ brand image and personality.

Each business needs to directly understand their consumer including their demographics, psychographics, consumer insight and how to push their ‘Hot Button’. Lastly, to make sure you are ahead of your competition the business will need to determine who their real competitors are and who is actually competing for your time, money and attention.

There are 8 different methods in creating an effective message strategy:
1. Generic – promotes the category, not the brand.
2. Pre-emptive – makes a claim that no other competitors have and therefore appears unique.
3. USP – makes a unique proposition based on a functional attribute of the product.
4. Positioning – to position the product in the consumer’s mind.
5. Brand image – builds an image, attitude or personality about the product or service.
6. Inherent drama – uses the drama within the product to portray its benefits.
7. Resonance – the ad strikes a chord or resonates with the viewer.
8. Affective – appeals to the viewer on a purely emotional level.

Once you have decided what type of message strategy is necessary for your product or service you will need to come up with the Big Idea. This can be difficult because there are so many factors that influence how to connect with the consumer. Do you use marketer goals or consumer goals? Essentially building on the message strategy by converting the ‘what to say’ into an idea that makes the message relevant and engaging to the consumer.

At Alpha Plus our strength lies in creating big ideas – our team is involved in understanding the consumer’s thought process and what are the pathways at reaching their purchase zone. Send us an email for more information if you would like some advice on how you can take your message to the next level.
Can you work out what type of message strategy is used in this ad by Cadbury?

About Calvin Chin

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